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LETTER: Petulance of some UND fans discredits university

I oppose the use of "North Dakota" as a nickname for UND, because I feel that most of the individuals who support this choice see it as a protest vote. That is to say, by choosing this nickname, students and

other stakeholders are expressing opposition to the retirement of "Fighting Sioux" as the school nickname.

Essentially, they are signaling that if they cannot have their old nickname, that they would rather have no nickname at all.

I feel that this reflects very poorly on the character of the student body.

I have seen firsthand that many outside the region view UND students suspiciously due to their tenacious support of a label viewed by many as insensitive at best. The refusal to replace the name sends the message that UND students view their right to continue to use a tribal name as more important than their desire to convey respect toward the American Indian community.

Students rightly recognize that blocking the introduction of a new nickname will protect the old name from being replaced. For this reason, I urge UND student government to take a leadership role in discouraging the UND student body from backing the "North Dakota" nickname.

I feel that the adoption of this non-choice would convey an image of our students as petulant, belligerent and dishonorable.

Andrew Herting

Grand Forks

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