Friday, December 27, 2002

How Will The Sioux Do Without The Arts & Science Faculty?

My alma mater, the University of North Dakota, and the controversy over it's Fighting Sioux nickname gets a little national attention today in a piece by Mark Yost at OpinionJournal.com. Yost does a good job analyzing the situation and explaining that not all Native Americans feel the name should be changed:

As for the Native Americans on campus, some may be offended, but certainly not all. "There are various views, even among the American Indian students," admits Mr. Jeanotte. He himself favors changing the name. But junior goalie Marc Ranfranz, who is Sioux, doesn't mind it in the least. (Mr. Ranfranz made his first start against the Canisius Griffins on Dec. 13 and posted a 6-0 shutout.) "I hope, for myself," Mr. Ranfranz said in an interview on U.S. College Hockey Online, "that they don't change it. I honor it. I enjoy it. I think it's a great nickname and logo. It makes me feel proud when I come into the rink and see the Sioux logo all over."

He also gives equal time to those who favor changing the name:

Still, that doesn't matter to the name-opponents, one of whom is Jim McKenzie, the head of the English department. "In some cities, where the Indian population is long gone, it seems like a political correctness issue," he says. "But on a campus where there are Indian students, it's offensive to them." He says that he doesn't know a single Arts and Sciences faculty member who will set foot inside Engelstad Arena.

Somehow despite the absence of all the wild and crazy Arts and Sciences faculty members at their games the Sioux hockey team is ranked number one in the country with a 16-1-1 record.

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