Dear Members of the Board of Higher Education;
I am writing to protest your decision to maintain the Sioux name and logo. I believe that this action is one which flies directly in the face of the process UND was trying to adopt in handling this human rights issue in a dignified and thoughtful manner.
I have long been in favor of changing the Sioux name and logo, as I believe it is an offensive practice to act as if we own the name of a people and can therefore do with it what we choose. So, first things first, I disagree with the decision you have made.
Beyond that, however, the process by which you seem to have made it is even more distressing, not to mention insulting and disempowering. Hundreds of people at UND, including students, faculty, staff and administrators, have spent thousands of hours debating, discussing and gathering information about this issue. That information was passed on to President Kupchella with the assumption that it would be used to make an informed, thoughtful decision. Admittedly, if the President chose to maintain the name, I would vehemently disagree. But, given the process, I may have been able to hear the rationale and find it tolerable, if only temporarily.
I find your decision simply intolerable, because there is no evidence that you have given the thought to this issue that it deserved. However, if I am wrong about this, I hope that you will correct my impression. You can do so by providing the following evidence:
1. Please demonstrate the hours you spent reading the report of the Name Commission.
2. Please provide a list of the names of people you interviewed about this issue.
3. Please provide the dates of your visits to Sioux Tribal Councils.
4. Please provide the rationale you used for making this decision, after your previous statements that it was a campus decision.
5. Please provide verification that it was legal for this vote to take place without having first been placed on a public agenda.
6. Please make available to the public any and all documentation of the thought and planning that went into this decision.
Perhaps after reviewing evidence that supports your decision-making process, I will better understand your action.
Cindy Juntunen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
UND Department of Counseling