Author Topic: Is a nickname decision coming?  (Read 2414 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Is a nickname decision coming?
« on: May 13, 2009, 08:11:45 am »
Tu-Uyen Tran at the Herald seems to think it's possible:

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The Herald got a curious letter from UND alumnus Rich Becker the other day that suggests the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education would kill UND's Fighting Sioux nickname at its meeting on Thursday in Dickinson.

The agenda says this: "Report from the UND nickname/logo committee; board discussion and possible action -- Chancellor [Bill] Goetz and Mr. [Grant] Shaft."

Tran doesn't think that the "action" is a decision, mainly because the SBHE hasn't seemed like the group to do something without longer for the committees to work.  I'm inclined to withhold an interpretation just because I think "action" has a variety of meanings (unless this is one of those Robert's Rules of Orders things where "Action" actually means something excruciatingly precise).

Kudos to Tran for using the proper singular "alumnus" rather than the improper plural "alumni" to refer to a single male person who previously attended the school.

Becker's letter is below.  I really don't want to get back into this debate; it seems like a waste of people's time and effort.  When good things could be being done about a whole variety of issues, some people seem more worried about which athletic conference UND can get into.
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By Rich Becker

GRAND FORKS — In the past few days, discussions around the Grand Forks community have led me to believe that the State Board of Higher Education, at its meeting Thursday in Dickinson, will among other business matters vote to drop the use of the Fighting Sioux logo by UND.

If there is any truth to this attempt to do an end run around the process that’s now in progress, it must be stopped. For one thing, the board’s timing would be very suspicious, given the fact that UND is completing its spring semester this week, so students are heading home and are not available to protest the board’s ill-advised action.

More important is the fact that by a two-thirds majority, the people of the Spirit Lake Nation recently ratified their continued support for UND’s use of the Sioux name and logo. The board’s action would seem to be in direct contempt of tribal members’ wishes.

What a slap in the face this would be to those brave souls who dared to speak out against the muck of political correctness that is so evident in our society. It also would come at a time when it appears that the grass-roots elements of the Standing Rock Nation will succeed in getting a nickname referendum on an upcoming ballot there, too.

In addition, the Herald has carried recent stories suggesting that the outcome of a vote at Standing Rock is likely to be similar to the vote at Spirit Lake.

Even after the chancellor named a committee (after a lengthy delay and minus the high-level members suggested), no meetings have been held to learn if a solution satisfactory to both sides could be found within the three-year window that ends in October 2010. If no such solution is found by that deadline, then UND would have to discontinue its use of the name.

In other words, no matter what happens, the nickname dispute will be resolved within a little more than a year. That suggests other agendas must be in play — agendas that are preventing the board’s nickname committee from carrying out its work and striving for a win/win solution.

It appears that grass-roots support from the tribes and the nearly 80-year tradition of honor and respect that UND’s use of the Sioux nickname has shown for the Sioux people is not politically correct enough for those at the highest levels of decision-making on this issue.

What other issues might be short-circuiting the nickname resolution process? Some claim that “issue fatigue” has set in, and people just want to move on. But the good people at Spirit Lake clearly do not believe that, nor do the vast majority of other North Dakota citizens and UND Sioux supporters.

Instead, the only other reason I’ve heard that seems to make sense is that “we must do whatever it takes to get anointed for admission into the Summit League.” But why must we do so? Moving to Division I means we can’t compete in post-season events for three more years, long after the 2010 deadline to win tribal support. Even begging to get into the Summit League does not guarantee the league will accept UND.

Furthermore, I firmly believe that other changes will be taking place in the landscape of Division I conferences over the next few years, and a better fit for UND will be found — hopefully, in the Big Sky Conference.

Let’s go where “who we are” and “what we can contribute” are the core values that the conference seeks — not where a conference says, “Go resolve your logo issue” when what it really seems to be saying is, “We will not even consider you until you change your logo for political-correctness purposes.”

Who needs a conference with an attitude like that?

We can always schedule nonconference games with the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and North Dakota State University, no matter what our logo name might one day be.

I request that board members and those involved in UND athletics not minimize the backlash that will come if the board does not follow the process it established to settle the logo issue, as well as the big negative impact that such a move would have for years to come on the financial support for UND academics and athletics.

Becker, a UND graduate, is president of Becker Marketing Consultants.
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 10:15:11 pm »
The state board basically said to change it.  UND has until Oct. 1 to come up with a 30 year agreement.  http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/240560/
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2009, 10:19:42 pm »
You have no sense of drama.  No opinion to offer?  :angel13:
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2009, 10:37:52 pm »
haha, sorry.  I will have to read some related articles more in-depth and take a look at some of the 260+ comments on the Forum's website... but I will wait until tomorrow after I had some sleep and can make some more rational comments!  :-\
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2009, 08:52:38 am »
Wow, some of the comments at the Herald are as annoying as ever--claims that UND needs to drop funding for Indian programs because the nickname will be gone, blaming the Indians for this decision by the State Board of Higher Education, blaming President Kelley for going along with this decision (when he actually has little choice) and saying he's going to be fired for this, etc.

Quit whining about it, people.  It's gone.  Now or in 30 years.  Let's try to get through without ending up with 30 more years of this crap.

Frankly, people scare me that care so much.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2009, 09:17:53 am »
Thank you, Jody Hodgson, for making some things clear:

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Q. Thank you for the conversation. Is there anything else you wanted to say before we go?

A. The only thing I would say is I’ve been discouraged today by some comments — it certainly wasn’t all of them — and what I would call reactionary outbursts directed toward Sioux citizens. I don’t believe that’s appropriate. I don’t believe it’s appropriately directed.
from The Herald.

I'm glad to see that a representative of the Englestad Foundation gets this out in the open, and I hope that anyone else who sees or hears people blaming the Sioux for this decision steps up and says something.  This isn't about being PC, it's about the wrongness blaming people who weren't even part of the decision.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2009, 09:26:54 am »
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Offline Plantains

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2009, 02:30:26 pm »
That first letter is straight racism. In order to wear a shirt with a sioux logo emblazoned on it you have to be a sioux now? Should I go around proclaiming everyone wearing vikings t-shirts take them off because they are not vikings? Jesus Christ. If it isn't ok for the school to be "racist" why is the reverse racism ok. And its not just with the sioux either... its with almost everything. UGH!
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2009, 05:41:45 pm »
Updates?
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Is a nickname decision coming?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 02:47:51 pm »
Nothing much recently.

Deadlines pass, nobody wants to put their foot down and get blamed, same old thing.
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