FARGO, N.D. (AP) — University of North Dakota, home of the Fighting Hawks?
Though the final vote is scheduled to begin Monday, many people on campus are already toying with the idea of the predatory bird mascot, with some even drawing up logos and artwork. The other choices are Roughriders and Nodaks.READ MORE: 'I'm Scared For My Patients': As COVID Cases Surge, Delta Plus Variant Worries Medical Experts
It’s been three years since the Grand Forks school’s Fighting Sioux logo, deemed by the NCAA to be hostile and abusive toward Native Americans, was retired.
The Fighting Hawks idea retains some elements of the old nickname and logo that many students and alumni were reluctant to leave behind, student body president Matt Kopp said. It earned the most votes among five finalists in a preliminary vote earlier this month.
“I’ve seen a couple of different logos that people have come up with, including one done by a student that is pretty cool,” he said.
One retired UND art professor has an animated drawing making the rounds on campus in which the Fighting Sioux logo morphs into a Fighting Hawks moniker. The 11-second video begins with the original logo that was designed by UND alumnus Bennett Brien, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota. The tail feathers on the headdress wind up as the tail on the hawk.
“My whole idea is to take some of the heat and hurt out of this whole ‘we’ve been betrayed’ feeling of the community that still wants the Fighting Sioux logo,” Miller said. “I see the Fighting Hawks as kind of a prequel to the Fighting Sioux.”READ MORE: Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum Return To Minnesota, Olympic Medals In Hand
But the process for selecting an image will be announced after the name is chosen by students, faculty, staff, alumni and other select voters, UND spokesman Peter Johnson said.
“A lot of folks have come up with their ideas, but the reality is at this point there are no images from a university standpoint that are associated with those nicknames, at least in any official capacity,” Johnson said. “We’re not accepting images at this point.”
Kelly O’Keefe, a consultant who works for the Virginia Commonwealth University’s brand center and was hired by UND to help select the new logo, did not return repeated phone messages left by The Associated Press.
Fighting Hawks received 31 percent of the vote in the first tally, followed by Roughriders at 21 percent, Nodaks at 20.5 percent, North Stars at 14.5 percent and Sundogs at 13 percent. About 27 percent of eligible voters cast their choices.
Kopp said he advocated for the school moving forward without a nickname, but now is ready for a new one.
“Don’t get me wrong, I believe a lot of mistakes were made along the way and I’ve disagreed with some of the decisions that have been made,” he said. “At this point, I think it’s best for the university that we are all behind what this new nickname ends up being.”MORE NEWS: Clarifying COVID: How Can We Protect Ourselves From The Delta Variant?
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