Published June 05 2012
Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ to retire UND logoAll the arguments have been heard. The debate, which has raged for years, comes down to Tuesday’s vote on Measure 4 – whether to retire the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux logo and nickname. North Dakotans who understand the greatness of a university is not defined by flawed imagery should vote “yes.” North Dakotans who understand that UND has been hurt by the nickname flap – and will be further damaged if the debate drags on – should vote “yes.”
It really is that simple. The questions every voter should ask: Is the future of the university more important than making a quixotic statement about facing down the NCAA? Is protecting and enhancing the athletic and academic status of UND more important than an obviously selfish personal agenda (“They can’t take my logo away”)? Is maintaining the best possible Division I sports and classroom experiences for student/athletes more important than proving a moot point (masquerading as “standing on principle”)?
It is instructive that in the past few days, even the most ardent, most vocal supporters of preserving the logo changed their minds. They analyzed the situation and correctly concluded that holding on to the logo will damage the school they love. That does not mean they no longer cherish the history and heritage of the logo. It does mean, however, that they have put the long-term welfare and reputation of the university ahead of the inclination of their hearts. Such maturity and sound reasoning are not shared by those who want to continue the fight, even in the courts.
It’s time for UND and North Dakota to move on. The logo might have a noble history, but it has become divisive. The university cannot achieve its full potential if the logo sideshow goes on. The negative consequences of clinging to the logo are not speculative. They already are happening as schools cross UND off athletic schedules, potential faculty hires look elsewhere, and even a few private funders of research think twice about UND – all because of the taint associated with the logo debate.
A strong “yes” vote on Measure 4 will honorably retire the logo and nickname.
Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.