Aggrieved UND Alumni Set Up Fundraising Effort For Nickname Legal Action

A couple of days ago I wrote about University of North Dakota alumnus William Brotherton, now a lawyer working out of Texas, saying that he was readying a lawsuit to block the school’s vote on a new nickname.

Today Brotherton tells me that his group has formed an online fundraising effort, and that he’s now picking plaintiffs to be a part of the filing.

“We have the first draft of our petition ready and are selecting plaintiffs,” he told me via email this morning. “It will be a significant cross-section of UND alumni and supporters. We also hope to include UND students.”

“We have the first draft of our petition ready and are selecting plaintiffs,” he told me via email this morning. “It will be a significant cross-section of UND alumni and supporters. We also hope to include UND students.”

You can see the online GoFundMe effort here. As I write this they’ve raised $660 so far out of a goal of $50,000, most of that given in the last 24 hours. Previously Brotherton had told me he had raised $10,000.

The plan, as told to me, is to file the legal action on Friday, October 16. Brotherton is hoping to get the “North Dakota” or no nickname option back on the ballot as a choice. UND President Robert Kelley created no small amount of uproar when he removed that choice, widely seen as the most popular, from the voting process.

Meanwhile, voting on the nickname begins on Monday, October 19 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes at 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Friday, October 23. It would be done via a link emailed out to alumni, season ticket holders, and other people qualified to vote.

“UND anticipates receiving the results of the vote by early the week of October 26,” the school said in an email sent out this last week. “In the event none of the five potential nicknames receives more than 50% of the vote, stakeholders who were eligible to take part in the initial vote will be able to participate in a runoff vote between the two top vote-getters. If a runoff vote occurs, more information will be provided.”

The names under consideration are:

  • Fighting Hawks
  • Nodaks
  • North Stars
  • Roughriders
  • Sundogs

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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