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Fighting Hawks or Roughriders? Final vote on UND nickname begins

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The final vote for a new nickname for the University of North Dakota kicks off on Thursday, with the choice between Fighting Hawks and Roughriders.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that eligible voters will receive an email with a link to vote starting at noon, with the vote concluding at 11:59 p.m. Monday, with results expected later next week.

Current students, alums, season ticket holders and other stakeholders will be able to cast their ballots.

The university has had two runoff votes in order to get to the two finalists. The Fighting Hawks name has been the clear winner in those votes, preferred by 31 percent in October and 46 percent earlier this month.

The results of the previous votes have been released two days after the conclusion of the balloting.

On his online UND Hockey blog, Herald writer Brad Elliott Schlossman reports that the student body favors the Fighting Hawks name, while the other stakeholders prefer Roughriders.

"I’m astounded that the university can go through this long, complicated process with the goal of finding a unique nickname, only to be the 29th version of a hawk in college athletics," Schlossman wrote, adding that this weekend, UND teams will play several teams with versions of the name.

"UND’s weekend features a women’s basketball game against the Hawkeyes on Friday, one against the Skyhawks on Saturday and two hockey games against the RedHawks. I’m not a fan of Roughriders — it’s hardly unique either — but I’ll probably end up voting for it, anyway, as it’s not as overused as Hawks."

The university said the search for a logo for the new mascot will follow the final vote.

The school's former Fighting Sioux logo was retired in late 2012 after the NCAA threatened sanctions for its members using Native American mascots. The school's athletes have played as UND or North Dakota ever since.

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