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Raw DS Article: Your 1010/1030 In Review

April 29, 2010

Another school year has come to a close. As we say goodbye to semesters 1010 and 1030 (as coded by the Registrar’s Office), the University Of North Dakota finds itself in a precarious, yet hopeful position moving forward. Moving forward…a concept that, although somewhat alien to much of Small Town America, will hopefully provide the students, faculty, staff and administration of the school with a positive experience in the future. To forget one’s past is to almost certainly guarantee that you will repeat yourself. As such, I’d like to take a look back at the people, and things that have made a huge difference in our lives at this fine University.

There are no greater events during the past year that have greater foreboding on the University and the larger Grand Forks community than decisions that were made in March and April of this past year. A board was convened, decisions were voted upon and ultimate statements were made: the editorial board of the Grand Forks Herald decided to publish a restaurant review of McDonalds, written by (previously mentioned in past articles) the Grand Forks Grandma. Whether extolling on the philosophical virtues of the profit margins on soda or remarking how instead of a Mocha Frappe that she should “stick to the plain coffee,” the Grand Forks Grandma continued to place the Grand Forks restaurant scene on the cutting edge of journalism in the city.

While on the topic of journalism and things that make people laugh, the Twamley Shuffle made its published debut on campus. Featuring satirical articles about the people and places at UND, this newspaper is everything the Student Journal (the one-time “competitor” to the Dakota Student) was, but without the serious mission statement and fiscal mismanagement. Sean Lee and his team get mad props from this opinion columnist for the hilarious photo/article combo on the student search for Upson Hall. I, for one, wish them the best of luck next year.

In aviation news, the merger between Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines was finalized in January, thereby giving travelers flying out of Grand Forks (like myself) something new to complain about. This merger has been a mixed blessing for the city and its people: we still haven’t found our unicorn (westbound flights), but can now find ourselves crammed into a sub-human existence onboard one of six (!) Delta Connection Canadair Regional Jet flights to Minneapolis each day. The airport and business community considered this a major victory. They obviously haven’t flown on these airplanes before.

Speaking of things that get up and fly away, this year was yet another banner year of travel for me, much of which, unfortunately, was on Delta Airlines. Bushwhackers on St. John, USVI; Guinness in Dublin; Pilsner Urquell in Prague—I made sure to leave just a small part of my liver in each location around the world. Thanks in large part to the experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met on these journeys, I will continue to lobby readers of the Dakota Student to get the hell out of this sometimes cold, often windy part of the country.

Far and away, the biggest news of the year from the campus of the University of North Dakota was the recently announced retirement of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. Nothing has stirred the emotions and opinions of the community in the past several years like this decision. Feelings continue to run high, both on-campus and on Facebook groups devoted to the logo. One of the biggest things gleaned out of the entire situation was that, should I be asked to return to Grand Forks and UND for a ceremony in my “honor,” I should expect nothing less than people asking me to “kiss [their] white ass[es]” and claiming that I should return the tuition waivers and scholarships I received as an Honors student and Graduate Service Assistant. In the ensuing onslaught of comments online, the true nature of fans both pro-and-anti logo was revealed. Quotes from Ralph Engelstad and Thomas Jefferson were thrown out for debate (“To Adolf, From Ralph” was conspicuously absent from the discussion). Some hold onto a fleeting hope that their “beloved” Sioux might return. Frankly, I hope it doesn’t. UND has a grand opportunity at its doorstep: a new beginning. One in which everyone can move forward, standing proud behind a logo that doesn’t ostracize, stereotype, offend or marginalize. A logo that, according to President Kelley, will not be the Flickertails.

For that, we can all be thankful.

Have a great summer! Be safe, have fun, and congratulations to this year’s graduates!

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