Sickler's veto does not change the vote that occurred Sunday

To the editor,
When I spoke to the Student Senate on Sunday, I was speaking as UND L/Dakota student first and foremost, not just as the president of B.R.I.D.G.E.S. In no way was I tearfully pleading with anyone to vote for the change. I beg no one. My tears are tears of anger and frustration. My personal history is common for many Native Americans and yet it is not taught in any public schools. Therefore, my history is about education of what the logo stands for. It is no honor, it's a reminder of what the past one hundred years were like for my people. Am I calling anyone a racist? NO! Am I saying that the people of today should be held accountable for the actions of their forefathers? Only, if they are continuing the same hurtful traditions from the past. It is every person's responsibility to become a better person and to recognize the wrongs of the past and look to tomorrow as a better day. This cannot be done unless one recognizes the voices of those who can barely be heard.

Jonathan Sickler's veto does not change the vote that occurred Sunday as the Student Senate meeting. The fact of the matter is the majority of the Student Senate voted to discontinue the use of their current logo. The University Senate voted the same way in 1993. Indian people have long been asking for the name change, 20+ years. The University Administration chooses to look the other way and deny the diplomatic request of Indian people, moreso the L/D/Nakota Nation.

The University is in a very sad state; there is no recognition of the division, which exists over this issue. This is not an Indian issue as some would like to think but it is a human issue. The University is supposed to be a place of higher learning. Smithsonian once said, "Education is the diffusion of knowledge." Is higher learning closing of the mind, to only see what you are told to see, to always believe what you are told to believe and to do what you are told to do? The Creator blessed each and every one of us with a conscience and free will. Whether we use it or not is a personal choice. But it is what makes us unique and beautiful as human beings.

Mr. Sickler stated he would be able to do to sleep without a guilty conscience for believing the name should not be changed. Of course he can, he has gone with the flow of the University Administration or who ever it is that is so adamant against the change. He can feel safe knowing the people who are for the change, especially the Indian people, are not going to violently attack him anyway. He will not receive hateful e-mail, mail, or telephone calls. He will not have to look over his shoulder nor will he have to listen to snide remarks in any of his classes. Why is it the opposite for people who believe in the name change? Is this the kind of environment UND will continue to promote and to ultimately be known for?

Some people choose to believe changing the name would only hurt Indian people; keeping it would help Indian people. Why is it the University feels that they are to have ties to their mascot? To foster a relationship? Why can't this be done based on wanting to help one another? If this is UND's duty to create a relationship that will better conditions for the people on the reservation, only because they are using them as their mascot, then it should be NDSU's duty to foster a relationship with the buffalo. Maybe they can visit with the buffalo on the reservations; maybe they can set up a ranch for them, find a cure for brucellosis or help enhance genetic diversity. All of a sudden there is a moral obligation to help the mascot's current conditions. If this is the new trend for universities, then surely all environmental and conservation problems are solved.

Petra Fox
Senior, Biology