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Name game: UND wants the public's help with new mascot selection process

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You have until Sunday to give the University of North Dakota your 2 cents when it comes to picking a new nickname and mascot.

The UND Nickname and Logo Process Recommendation Task Force is asking people to fill out a survey to get ideas of who should be involved and how the university should go about the nickname-choosing process, if the task force recommends adopting a new one. The survey closes Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.

It's the next step in what's been a years-long battle over retiring the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo, and deciding what to replace it with. The task force was formed in September to develop a process to potentially adopt a new nickname and logo after the university vowed to distance itself from the retired moniker following several incidents that were called offensive, Forum News reported.

In the last few months the task force has held town hall meetings to gather input.

"We can be just North Dakota, we can select a new nickname, but we don't have to select a new nickname. That's why we need your feedback," said task force member Chuck Horter, UND class of 1972, according to KX News.

Horter is encouraging everyone to fill out the survey because responses from it – along with what people suggested at the community town hall meetings this month – "will serve as the basis for the recommendations made by the task force going forward," the Grand Forks Herald reports.

The task force is expected to present its recommendation of "what to do next" to UND's president in December, KX News says.

The survey doesn't ask for nickname suggestions, but State Sen. Mac Schneider, D-Grand Forks, told the Bismark Tribune he's heard a number of ideas. But there's currently no frontrunner.

“For me, it’ll always be the Fighting Sioux,” Schneider told the newspaper. “I personally like being called North Dakota. I feel a lot of pride in saying ‘we are North Dakota.’”

Schneider also told the Bismark Tribune there are rumors of a bill being introduced in the 2015 Legislature to prevent the university from adopting a new nickname and logo.

North Dakota law says the earliest UND could adopt or implement a new nickname and logo is Jan. 1, 2015.

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