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Published February 28, 2011, 12:30 AM

Will Constituent Pressure Affect Sioux Nickname Senate Vote?

One senator says if you can't handle nickname pressure, you 'ought not be in elected office.'
North Dakota state senators will soon vote on a bill in favor of keeping a storied nickname and logo. There's no shortage of pressure when it comes to voting for or against the Fighting Sioux.

North Dakota state senators will soon vote on a bill in favor of keeping a storied nickname and logo.

There's no shortage of pressure when it comes to voting for or against the Fighting Sioux.

"I hear from both sides, pretty much equal passion," District 18 Democrat Senator Connie Triplett said.

When it comes to the Fighting Sioux nickname and indian head logo, that passion can sometimes equal pressure.

"I got real used to making people annoyed. When you're in a position like this, you know you can't satisfy both sides," Triplett said.

Triplett is just one Grand Forks senator who will have to weigh both sides when she votes on a bill aimed to keep the 80-year-old nickname and logo.

It passed 65 to 28 in the North Dakota House. Passing through the senate would then send it to Governor Jack Dalrymple. Constituents, for it or against it, are watching.

"If that amount of pressure is too much for someone, then you ought not be in elective office," Triplett said.

If signed into law, it would supersede the Board of Higher Education's decision to retire the nickname and logo. Triplett says UND alumni are vocal about wanting to preserve this piece of history. But she is concerned about another group.

"The real impact is to current students and if this controversy continues, the future students at UND," Triplett said.

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