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University group opposes Fighting Sioux nickname

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The University of North Dakota Senate has passed a resolution against UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname even though student senators opposed the resolution.

The nonbinding resolution was approved on a 25 – 17 vote of the University Senate April 2.

About 40 students, wearing green UND apparel, held signs supporting the nickname before the meeting and sat through the debate.

Most of those voting in favor of it were faculty members and staff. Some administrators abstained.

Vice Chairwoman Wendelin Hume, who sponsored the resolution, said it calls on the state Board of Higher Education to end the use of the nickname and to order UND President Robert Kelley to make a change.

Student Body President Tyrone Grandstrand said the wording is too divisive. He said the issue will resolve itself in a little more than a year.

Under a legal settlement with the NCAA, the state board needs approval from Sioux tribes in North Dakota to continue using the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo without penalties after November 2010. The NCAA has called the nickname hostile and abusive. Its supporters say it has been used with respect.

Spirit Lake tribal officials have scheduled a vote on the issue later this month.

Hume said the nickname harms the university as an academic institution and should be retired earlier.

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