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Published February 02, 2012, 10:29 PM

UND nickname petition makes stop in Fargo

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Two months after UND retired its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo petitions are still being passed to save the 80 year tradition. Is it too little too late? Or could these new signatures make a difference?

Two months after UND retired its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo petitions are still being passed to save the 80 year tradition. Is it too little too late? Or could these new signatures make a difference?

The battle cry to save the UND Fighting Sioux nickname is far from over.

Frank Burggraf – Committee for Understanding and Respect: “It's important to keep the name for what it lends to the people of North Dakota and the Sioux people. It's a great name for a great institution.”

Members of both the Spirit Lake Committee for Understand and Respect and the Fighting Sioux Ballot Measures Committee are going to statewide to try and collect 13,500 signatures.

Those signatures place the repeal of Senate Bill 2370, which discontinued the Fighting Sioux nickname on December 1st, onto the June 12th election.

Frank Burggraf: “This name has been proven to be non-hostile and abusive. It's not a mascot and represents more than an athletic team.”

Eunice Davidson – Member of Spirit Lake Tribe: “It's our name and we're proud. I am for one and I know a lot of people on the reservation are proud such a big university would want to be called the Fighting Sioux.”

You may think a petition to save the UND Fighting Sioux nickname would gather few signatures here in the heart of Bison country, but that hasn't been the case here at West Acres Mall.

Joey Kramer – Signed Petition: “I think it's up to the people themselves if they're being discriminated against. If they decide to support the school and the choice of the nickname, the NCAA should follow that.”

Shelly Blotsky – Signed Petition: “This could set a precedent for other schools and we need to take a stand and say it's worth fighting for the Fighting Sioux.”

Hundreds waited in line to sign the petition, but not everybody is on board.

Tom Glass – Disagrees with Petition: “UND needs the NCAA a lot more than the NCAA needs UND, so I think it's time to call an end to the nickname and move on from that.”

Supporters say they need about 3,000 more signatures before Tuesday's deadline.

Both committees are also handing out a petition that would amend the North Dakota constitution to state UND's athletic teams must be known as the Fighting Sioux. They need 27,000 signatures to get that on the November 2012 ballot.

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