Are you tired? Because I’m exhausted. For the past few years the University of North Dakota has been preparing itself for a transition from the Fighting Sioux moniker into a new nickname.
Before and during the transition period there have been multiple times when I’ve said several “unladylike” curse words in frustration. That time when the North Dakota legislative body thought it knew better than UND. An alumni who took out trade-names in an attempt to derail UND from using said names. The weak attempt at a lawsuit to stop voting from happening. The list goes on.
I knew the transition would be difficult, but I didn’t think it would come to the ridiculous lengths that it has to some extent. Admittedly, there were times that I was surprised at the lengths groups and individuals were willing to go. I will also admit that, although, I might not agree with any of the attempts to prolong this battle, I respect the passion and interest in fighting for what one believes in.
I’ve been ready to move forward since the state legislative body decided that, after UND had decided to transition, it would have to go back to using the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. At that time, the university’s Athletics department was already running under the North Dakota moniker. In full disclosure, I worked in the Athletics Department as a student assistant at the time. It was more than frustrating. Since that time I have commonly said that I have Fighting Sioux Fatigue.
As I’m sure many of you have, I followed the new nickname and logo process. I was a participant in one of the ‘conversation cafes’ that was established by UND last year. I voted in the first round and will vote in the second (and third, heaven forbid that it comes to that).
I’m frustrated with the final name selections because I’m not convinced that they truly exhibit the findings that were outlined in the conversation cafés hosted to field what might be a good fit for a new nickname. The nickname selection committee was ultimately responsible for whittling down the massive list.
I foolishly believed that after the first vote I would be one vote away from moving toward closure. When news broke yesterday evening that there would be three, not two names on the next ballot, it was one of the first times I’ve felt truly betrayed by the process. I understand the rationale to some extent, but I wonder if it was the ‘right thing to do.’ Selecting three names to move forward went against the initial process that was outlined and could cause another vote, prolonging the agony.
Perhaps time and this process has broken me down a bit, but I have decided that I will learn to live with whatever is selected by the majority and that I will continue to support UND. And I truly believe that those of you that love UND as much or more than I do will continue to support the institution and athletics no matter what the final decisions is.
You will not, however, catch me wearing any Roughrider gear if that is what the fates allow.