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Voting has begun for new UND nickname to replace Fighting Sioux

The University of North Dakota opened voting Monday for a new nickname, with the ballot offering five choices to replace Fighting Sioux.

With Fighting Sioux erased in 2012 under pressure from the NCAA because of its potential to offend American Indians, the options put before voters are: Fighting Hawks, Nodaks, North Stars, Roughriders and Sundogs.

Those eligible to vote anonymously online between now and 11:59 p.m. CDT Friday are students, alumni, university faculty and staff, donors and season-ticket holders. Voters, who have received their instructions in an e-mail, can only cast one ballot.

If no name wins a majority of votes, a runoff will be held with the top two choices.

Opposition to scrapping Fighting Sioux has taken various forms, including a lawsuit that was filed in state court last week but failed to block this week’s vote.

The process of replacing Fighting Sioux began last year, with the naming of a task force to devise a plan. Out of that, another panel was formed, and the public swamped its members this past spring with thousands of suggestions, ranging from sarcastic to silly to serious.

And it’s out of those that there are five finalists.

A strong push was made for the team to remain a nickname-free zone, as it has in recent years. However, UND President Robert Kelley nixed that non-nickname notion.

In related news, ‘North Dakota’ not among potential new nicknames for UND.

This article was written by PAUL WALSH from Star Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.