Skip to main content

Judge orders NDSU students to write pro-UND essays after prank

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Two North Dakota State University students were sentenced to write essays about why rival University of North Dakota is a good school after they were caught pulling a prank at the university.

Three students were arrested after they were caught tampering with a sign at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on UND's campus in October, apparently trying to hang a Bison-pride sign at "the Betty," the NDSU Spectrum reported.

When police arrived, the students fled from officers and were eventually charged with refusing to halt for a peace officer, a misdemeanor, Valley News Live reported.

This embed is invalid

Kyle Mason and William Ogdahl both pleaded guilty to the charge last month and Judge Lee Christofferson, a UND grad, fined them each $225 and ordered them both to write a two-page report about why UND is a good school, according to Grand Forks County court records.

Christofferson told Mason and Ogdahl, who were kicked off the homecoming court following their arrests, that they shouldn't use Wikipedia as a source for the assignment, the Spectrum said.

The Grand Forks Herald analyzed the essays and said Mason's essay read like Wikipedia, "listing off mundane facts about UND," but stopped short of "copying and pasting" from the website, while "Ogdahl's essay appears to draw heavily from Wikipedia, with some sentences only slightly rearranged or reworded," although no courses were cited.

The newspaper published the two essays. You can read them here.

Court records show both Mason and Ogdahl's cases are considered closed.

A third man was also charged in connection with the prank. Alan Patterson pleaded not guilty to the same charges. He has a pretrial conference set for Dec. 18, court records show.

Valley News Live says it's likely Patterson's case will end up in a plea bargain, and if it does the judge has already said he'll be required to also write a two-page report on why UND is a good school.

Next Up

Winter scene snow storm snowfall highway driving traffic - Joe Nelson Feb 2022 4

Winter storm warning for Twin Cities: 6+ inches possible

The heaviest snow could move through the Twin Cities.

police lights

Carver man charged after standoff with police in Prior Lake

The man had been fleeing from police when he allegedly broke into a home and the standoff ensued.


41-year-old Sherburne County man killed after crashing car into ditch

The crash occurred Sunday night in Palmer Township.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 4.01.10 PM

Around 200 rescued after ice breaks free on Upper Red Lake

Red Lake — both Upper and Lower — is the largest freshwater lake in the state.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 9.38.30 AM

St. Paul featured on Hallmark Channel's 'Christmas Cam' livestream

Downtown's dazzling display can be viewed from anywhere in the world.


Charges: Drunk driver almost struck Bemidji parade spectators

The man told police he was trying to attend the parade himself.


The SCHEELS Experience

Whether looking for reliable hunting and fishing gear or new clothing and shoes, Eden Prairie SCHEELS is a one-stop shopping experience for the whole family.


Charges: Man fatally shot ex's new partner as he dined at Bloomington restaurant

Criminal charges filed Monday detail an alleged motive in the shooting.


Metallica to perform 2 nights in Minneapolis on 2023-24 World Tour

The heavy metal rock band returns to the state for the first time since 2018.

snow, plow

Tuesday storm to dump plowable snow in Minnesota

Snow should reach the Twin Cities Tuesday morning and fall throughout the day.