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.

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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