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Editorial -- Cast your final ballot for new UND nickname

Nearly 300 people participated in our recent online poll to select a new nickname for the University of North Dakota. The selections we offered were as follows: Fighting Norwegians, North Stars, Rough Riders, Channel Cats and Fighting Trappers.

Nearly 300 people participated in our recent online poll to select a new nickname for the University of North Dakota. The selections we offered were as follows: Fighting Norwegians, North Stars, Rough Riders, Channel Cats and Fighting Trappers.

In selecting the choices to be voted upon, we used a limited amount of creativity to draw specific links to the history of Grand Forks. Hence, the Channel Cats and Fighting Trappers, as the region was settled by trappers who traveled the Red River of the North, and those trappers likely feasted on the river's catfish.

Throughout the many years of debate over the UND Fighting Sioux nickname, many residents have simply suggested converting to Fighting Norwegians, given the predominant heritage of the region.

More recently, the North Stars and Rough Riders have been suggested. True hockey fans and historians are not unfamiliar with the North Stars name, as it was carried by Minnesota's professional hockey team in the Twin Cities before it melted southward to Dallas, where it's now simply known as the Stars.

Grand Forks residents in particular are very familiar and comfortable with the Rough Riders, the nickname chosen for Grand Forks Red River High School when it was built on the city's southwest side.

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The Rough Riders drew the largest amount of support in our poll at 38.46 percent of the 286 votes cast as of Thursday afternoon. Not surprisingly, Fighting Norwegians stands a strong second at 27.97 percent. We believe those choosing this name do so to state any specific group of people should be honored to be selected as the namesake of a successful and proud institution such as UND.

The North Stars stand a strong third in our poll at 23.78 percent. Part of the support for this name we attribute to UND's current marketing campaign which references the hockey team as the "Force of the North." We also attribute the support for this name to the positive connection the former Minnesota professional hockey team made with the residents of our state.

Even though the Rough Riders are drawing the largest level of support for UND's new nickname, we would suggest one group of Rough Riders is enough for Grand Forks, and Red River High School should carry that nickname.

Instead, we ask our readers to go to our Web site and cast another ballot in our latest online poll for either the Fighting Norwegians or North Stars to select our formal nomination for a new UND nickname. The address is www.thedickinsonpress.com . We'll share the results with you next week.

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