North Dakota University Nickname Amendment (2014)

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Editor's note: Two initiatives were approved for petition circulation. Both related to the University of North Dakota's nickname "Fighting Sioux." The article below called for a constitutional amendment to require use of the "Fighting Sioux" nickname." Another proposal, a referendum, called for repealing a 2011 state law - SB 2370. To read about that measure, click here.

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The North Dakota University Nickname Amendment did not make the June 2012, November 2012 or the June 2014 ballots in North Dakota as an initiated constitutional amendment. Despite supporters' stated plans to place the measure on the June 2014 ballot, no signatures were submitted by the deadline to do so.[1][2]

The proposed measure would have allowed for the University of North Dakota to use the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo.

Support

In mid-December 2011 supporters announced that they planned to seek a court order to force Ralph Engelstad Arena to allow the circulation of initiative petitions at hockey games.[3] On December 29, 2011 Grand Forks County District Judge Sonja Clapp denied the request, but noted that a hearing would be scheduled in early January to determine if petitioners can move inside the arena for future events.[4]

Opposition

  • In a column featured in the West Fargo Pioneer columnist and former North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Lloyd Omdahl said, "Under the circumstances, the best way out of this mess would be abandonment of the petition drive. We could urge people not to sign the petitions but that would be hopeless because most folks aren’t aware of the damage the petitions will do to UND sports. Even the petitioners don’t seem to realize that. If the petitions are filed and both measures go on the ballot, thousands of dollars will be wasted on the campaigns. Money will be spent on both sides of the issue. Valuable time will be diverted at the University for months to fight passage of these measures. It will be a costly affair."[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: North Dakota signature requirements

Supporters were required to collect and submit a minimum of 26,904 valid signatures by August 8, 2012 in order to qualify the proposed measure for the 2012 statewide ballot.

The petition language was approved for petition circulation by Secretary of State Al Jaeger on December 13, 2011.[6]

Supporters had until one year after the petition's approval to turn in signatures for the 2014 ballot. Though that was supporters' original plan, no signatures were submitted by the deadline and the petitions have therefore expired.[2]

See also

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