UND Student Senate adopts nickname resolution
UND Student Senate has adopted a resolution urging the state Board of Higher Education to give due consideration to any vote on the matter that may take place at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation by Nov.
UND Student Senate has adopted a resolution urging the state Board of Higher Education to give due consideration to any vote on the matter that may take place at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation by Nov. 1.
The resolution was adopted earlier this week on a vote of 15-1, with two senators abstaining, said Matthew Johnson, a residence hall senator and the measure's co-sponsor.
With its authority to decide the issue reaffirmed last month by the North Dakota Supreme Court, the higher education board on April 8 directed UND President Robert Kelley to begin the transition away from the nickname and logo.
The university and state board had been operating under a timetable negotiated with the NCAA as part of a legal settlement, which gave them until Nov. 1 to win the blessing of the two namesake tribes or drop the nickname and logo.
Voters at the Spirit Lake Sioux Reservation approved continued use of the name and logo last year, but nickname supporters have had difficulty arranging a vote at Standing Rock.
"Both tribes need to know their voice matters," Johnson said. At Standing Rock, nickname supporters "are going through so much to make this (vote) happen. We strongly urge the state board to act in a way reflective of any vote Standing Rock may have."
Some members of the board have said it would be difficult not to revive the nickname issue if Standing Rock were to vote to allow its continued use. Johnson said the people of Standing Rock deserve "a more firm statement" as to how the board would respond to such a development.
The Student Senate "has not and will not take a position either in favor of or opposed to the nickname," he said, "because the student body is so divided on this issue."
Chuck Haga is a writer for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.