We encourage you to sing – loudly and with pride – whichever version resonates with you. —David Pershing
University of the Utah fans are getting a new option for singing the school's fight song.
According to the university, three alterations have been made to the song for an alternate version of the song "Utah Man." However, the university is not replacing "Utah Man." The new version is instead is another version fans are allowed to sing.
"It's an updated version of the song, and we're certainly changing it from the university's perspective," said Barb Snyder, University of Utah Vice President of Student Affairs. "We also recognize that people will sing whatever choose to sing, and we fully support that.
"We're not enforcing the changes. We're not requiring people to sing a different song, and we know the phrase 'Utah Man' has great significance for some of our passionate fans, and we fully expect them to keep singing those lyrics."
In the updated version, the word “man” in the fight song has been changed to “fan.” Also, the lines “our coeds are the fairest” and “no other gang of college men” have been switched to “our students are the finest” and “no rival band of college fans.”
Snyder, who also chaired a task force of students, faculty and staff on the issue, said the online print version of the song will be updated with the new lyrics, but no changes will be made to places on campus where "Utah Man" has been in place.
"We're not going to be changing it in different locations on campus," she said. "We're not eradicating it from our history. We're honoring the fact that it was our fight song for many years, but we're just updating it ... I know in our new football facility there are words from the fight song and we will not be changing those, nor will we be asking anybody who has them written or printed somewhere to change those."
The debate surrounding the fight song led to the university’s student government passing a resolution to change the fight song in April.
"Traditions are a way to connect generations," said Sam Ortiz, the Students of the University of Utah Assembly President at the time. "But I feel this has been divisive. It's time for change."
Synder said the new version was adopted to reflect the resolution that was passed. The task force decided to make the changes, but keep both versions, allowing fans to decide which version they want to sing. She added it's not the first time the song has been modified.
University of Utah President David Pershing said in a statement that fans are welcome to sing either version of the song they please.
“We encourage you to sing — loudly and with pride — whichever version resonates with you,” Pershing said.