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UND Nickname Change: Your “Stay Classy, North Dakota” Facebook Updates for Saturday, April 10th

April 10, 2010

The ignorance and hateful comments have slowed down. I think people have either let the change sink in or have lost interest. I’m guessing it’s a mix of both. Here’s yet another day’s roundup of the best and brightest comments from around Facebook:

“First Conan, now this. :(”
It’s an incredibly vague pop-culture reference! Personally, I prefer this post to the “THE NICKNAME CHANGE IS OBAMA’S FAULT” posts, but still…come on people!

“We could always call them the Fighting Blackjack Dealers”

“I ♥ Souix!”
This girl honors tolerates really doesn’t have a clue “honors” the American Indian people enough to spell the name correctly!

I must give props to where they are due for the next poster, who accurately portrays the entire idiocy surrounding the situation:
“I think you are relying too much on a mascot name and not enough about the actual education provided by the school. If you want to show support, put some effort into finding a replacement for the mascot and put more emphasis on the educational opportunities of this school.’

TODAY’S WINNING POST:

“Who cares where it started, the whole ‘controversy’ was started and sustained by a bunch of whining liberal bedwetters from our backyard all the way to the NCAA.”

This post is ignorant to all of the whining conservative bedwetters that were against the logo.

UND Nickname Change: Your “Stay Classy, North Dakota” Facebook Updates for Friday, April 9th.

April 10, 2010

I figure there’s enough ignorance and stupidity on the internet to continue shedding light on the “respectful” nature of UND’s nickname supporters. Also, by having a second post, I’m able to claim to those that don’t like it that they are attempting to stamp out my “history” and “proud tradition.”

“THERE ALL A BUNCH OF WINNES AND THE PRES. OF UND IS A SPIANELESS LITTLE GIRL I HOPE THE ALUM. THAT ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS SEND THERE MONEY TO OTHER COLLAGES IN ND”

Alum. that are not happy should send there money to the collage I just made out of magazine clippings. All benefits go toward the Martin Rottler Foundation.”

“Cancel all “Freebies” that are given out.”
“no more free education, a few shouldnt be to ruin it for everyone”
“if this is going to go through they need to get rid of the statue in the front….. and enough of the free college Crap”
“What happened with the deal they made with the original sioux tribal members when UND became the Sioux? Obviously that doesn’t matter thats why certain people go to UND and don’t have to pay for it…. Hopefully since this contract was broken these certain people don’t continue to get their education paid for anymore!”
“well if theres no more” fighting sioux”, then there should be no more FREE school.”
“so if I find it Offensive that native americans get to go to UND for free and have a Native American studies program and Native American education week….will they “retire” that too?”
“i think since we can’t keep the name that the indains can fuck themselves… they shouldn’t get to go to school for free anymore”

I can’t believe people are still bringing this “argument” up! AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL FOR FREE! It’s been mentioned time and time again.

Leave the Fighting Sioux name alone let the tribe to there name to YAHOO FLICKERTAILS.
Yeah, this isn’t insensitive at all.

“no matter what they will always remain the fighting Soiux”
“We will always be the UND Fighting Souix! It will take the fraternities and sororities to help keep our legend alive. Let us never forget! Fighting Souix Forever!!!”
“soui lives forever and will always be remeber by who care!!!!!!!! whos with me ??”
“Always the Fightting Siuux !!!”

This is a unique class of Facebook nickname supporters: those that care SO MUCH, they don’t care to spell correctly. At least give people that much respect…

“Poor Sioux Indians! Not what the hell will they wine about next?”

Winner of the Day Runner-Up

THE WINNER OF THE DAY:

“Not to sound racist but the new team name should be the North Dakota Fighting Prarie Negro’s just to piss the sioux off even more hahahah”

UND Nickname Change: Out Amongst the Students

April 9, 2010

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”
– Tom Clancy
A UND fan?

Before I start with my main point, I must say that you can’t make this stuff up. Today’s pro-logo protest was scheduled right around the starting time for the Shrine Circus at the Engelstad. As the supporters of the nickname gathered, the soundtrack to their meeting was circus music. Very apt. Now, onto the main point of this blog post:

I interviewed several students today about the Fighting Sioux mascot retirement. One of the students I interviewed perfectly summed up my feelings about the university and the logo (quoted word-for word):

(when asked about Native Americans on-campus who support the name change and don’t like the situation in general):

“I can’t see it the way they do because I’m not Native American. I’m not. I’m Caucasian. Umm…so I can’t really see their perspective and how they feel about it.”

That’s the problem here folks. There’s a lot of misrepresentation and misinformation going around, and the logo supporters have no clue how Native American students on campus feel. As a matter of fact, I did interview two American Indian students observing the “protest” at the Ralph Engelstad arena from afar, and were quite angry at what was going on before them. They felt marginalized and unconnected to the community, and much of the sentiment I found amongst nickname supporters seemed to back that fact up.

UND Nickname Change: Your “Stay Classy, North Dakota” Facebook Updates

April 8, 2010

I’m going to avoid commenting on the logo issue itself, as I’ve made my point several times here. If anything, the recently announced news about the retirement of the “Fighting Sioux” logo and moniker has infected the Grand Forks community with a profound sense of stupid. This has spilled over onto the lovely social networking site Facebook. There are very few things I could do to solve this problem. I don’t really want to argue in groups like an internet tough guy . Instead, I’ll let these comments from Facebook speak for themselves, with a bit of commentary in-between.

“So the Sioux Tribe is happy to not pay taxes on thier casino earnings as well as accept Government checks, but when our College honors them by using thier name, they raise Hell for 10+ years?!!! Makes no sense!”

“This like a slap inthe face for the Engelstad family. The most beautiful gift that could be given to this University to be destroyed by the errogance and stubborness”

I’m an errogant bastard.

“No more nickname no more free rides for ANY native americans!! You couldn’t have been honored more or given much more free education, what more do you people need to be happy!?!?”

YES! Someone invoked “You People!”

“I’ll show you hostile and abusive!!!!!!!!!!”

A) This is probably a threat.
B) Do you really need 12 exclamation points?

“ther isnt one true native american alive in the usa there blood line has waterd down with other races tradition doesnt make you native american”

“whaaaaaa…. we were persecuted by white people over hundred years ago, let’s get our revenge by taking away a university’s tradition. grow the hell up, you are getting free rides to further your education, be greatful and quit bitching…”

“UND will always and forever be the FIGHTING SIOUX to me and many others…..”Board of Higher Education” and the others that didnt like our nickname can all kiss my white ass!!! Its just a nickname its not like it is being used for a crapy school!!! UND makes the Fighting Sioux a great name and never lets us down!!!!”

Did this poster just ask me to kiss their white ass? :::reads again::: Why yes they did!

THE WINNER OF THE EVENING:

“Yea, the only hard work sioux tribe members do is apply for freebees. I guess the rest of the “hard work” is going to the bars 6 nights a week.”

HOLY SHIT. This person managed to prove my point in two sentences.

Raw DS Article: Smoking Ban

April 7, 2010

Before we begin this week’s article, I’d like to make a glaring admission. Sometimes writers hit roadblocks. Tonight I had one. I take no responsibility for the almost cop-out like nature of this article. Next week’s will be better! For reference, here is Delta’s safety video, and here’s 10 minutes of Deltalina’s “famed” finger wag.

On Delta Air Lines airplanes equipped with video screens (a.k.a. those that never serve Grand Forks), passengers are shown a video version of the industry-standard and government mandated briefing that instructs passengers on all of the safety equipment on-board the airplane. The video take a whole new approach to the safety briefing, blending rocking music and an incredibly attractive female flight attendant to create something that most middle-aged businessmen on their first Delta flight would pay attention to. Deltalina (as she’s come to be known amongst regular travelers and aviation nerds like myself) does a very good job outlining how to use the seatbelts, oxygen masks and where to stow baggage. Obviously, safety is serious business, especially when in a long metal tube several miles in the sky. The video itself, however, features a lighthearted approach to several things, including the fact that you cannot smoke onboard the airplane. So lighthearted, in fact, that Deltalina famously wags her finger in a very sultry manner, instructing passengers that “SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED” on Delta flights. This part of the video inherently makes me laugh, even after 20+ viewings.
Deltalina’s famous line was the first thing I thought of when news broke on Monday that the Grand Forks City Council passed a ban on smoking on bars and restaurants. The ban, effective in August, will make great strides toward better nightlife in Grand Forks. My “bar” clothing is already breathing a sigh of relief. My lungs look forward to coming home from a night out sans the inevitable burning feeling that comes from a night spent in a smoky room.

Some question why the city feels the need to take the “rights” of smokers to light up indoors away. Bars inevitably say that they will lose significant business. While there is some data to back this up, I, for one will be more willing to make my way downtown for a few drinks and will be more likely to hit bars I wouldn’t normally consider going to as a result of cigarette smoke. I’d also be more willing to spend more time and more money at one or two currently smoky bars that I normally visit.

There’s something to be said about Grand Forks moving forward with this decision as well. Having been to other cities, states and countries that have outlawed smoking in bars (including a stereotypically unlikely France), this move puts us in league with much of the rest of these places. In the end, I fully expect business to come around for the city’s bars. A lack of a place to smoke inside isn’t going to steer people clear of bars.
I, for one, commend the City Council and Mayor and thank them for a job well done.

Raw DS Article: UND, Get Angry!

March 24, 2010

Last week, I spent a fairly significant amount of time visiting the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder. While my intended purpose was to spend quality time with the many friends I have at the school for a meal or two and St. Patrick’s Day drinks. One of the first things I noticed driving around the school was that the pedestrians are just as clueless in Boulder as they are in Grand Forks. Thankfully, the Prius I drove around those nights had good breaks and an un-stuck accelerator. I’m a people-watcher at heart, and any trip to Boulder is a prime opportunity to observe what’s currently at the forefront of all that is liberal/crazy/hipster/going on with people I went to high school with. In effect, Boulder is the anti-Grand Forks…a progressive community nestled next to the Flatirons (a beautiful part of the Rocky Mountains) with a great bar scene and students that are in-tune with their surroundings. After a night of St. Patrick’s day revelry in which I shared the Celtic spirit with Irishmen from Brazil, Guatemala, Chile, Japan, and the USA, I wasn’t ready to come back to the flat, wet place known as Grand Forks.

Upon my return, however, I breathed a bit easier as I spent some time with my friends, as well as getting back into my studies. That breating easy, however, became less and less as I walked through the Memorial Union this past Wednesday to signs warning me of a HOT HELL if I didn’t follow the teachings of JESUS CHRIST. It became clear that I had entered a den of Jehovah’s Witnesses, sitting awkwardly and pretending to preach their gospel from behind a desk at the Memorial Union. I’m almost sure that 99% of the people who walked by likely didn’t care to interact with the old people with outwardly hateful messages on posters around the counter. The thing that really got me about this is not the fact that my fellow students and staff were ignoring it, but that no one tried to call the Witnesses out for what, in effect, condemned a majority of us to hellfire and brimstone. At any other college campus I’ve stepped on around the country and the world, groups like this would have been challenged/laughed out of their hateful and ignorant places years ago.

A common thread found in Dakota Student articles I’ve written since 2006 revolves around my dislike of the closed-mindedness I’ve experienced as a student, both as someone from out of state and as a Jew, on this campus. While the Bibles placed on my computer keyboard living in the dorms and the lack of understanding by faculty on campus of my need for Jewish high holy days off are one, very aggravating thing, what makes me even more confounded is the almost-complacency of the student body, and of the citizens of Grand Forks as a whole, when it comes to very divisive issues that aren’t the “beloved” Fighting Sioux nickname.

A few weeks ago, a Mississippi teen was barred from attending her prom by her high school’s administration because she had the audacity to want to bring her girlfriend. I’ve spent time in Mississippi and other parts of the South, and realize that many of the stereotypes of the people there being closed-minded “hicks” are further proved by actions like those experienced by this girl. What makes matters worse is the fact that this girl’s classmates have expressed anger and hostility toward her drive for equality. Had her community stood up and gave a resounding “NO” to this outward display of hate, the story wouldn’t have likely garnered the attention and embarrassment it now faces.

Mississippi, while far away distance wise from North Dakota, is not that far away when it comes to ideologies. One might even go so far as to say that the south is very similar to North Dakota/Minnesota, only with better food and sweet tea. As a matter of fact, one of my first reactions to this story was surprise that a story similar to this hasn’t happened in a small town in this region. More importantly, my slightly cynical point-of-view is that it’s only a matter of time before something like this does happen.

What sets my experiences at the University of North Dakota apart from those I’ve had elsewhere? In almost every other place I’ve run into people that are willing to stand up for something they believe in or think is wrong. The amount of complacency I see in the community here is equally frustrating and sad. It doesn’t just have to do with religion—I’ve had to see the student body sit back and let things like the Pride Card be forced on them from the school’s administration. If the people in the city and state were more willing to have an open mind and be tolerant of others, imagine the difference that could be made in the perception of those of us from outside the region!

Column Featured on Huffington Post College

March 4, 2010

I was surprised last night by a link from a friend…apparently my opinion article last week for the Dakota Student was picked up by the Huffington Post. Find it here.