Activists using the recent controversy over “Siouxper Drunk” t-shirts at a City of Grand Forks event to renew the attack on UND’s former “Fighting Sioux” logo and nickname have a march planned for Friday on campus. As I’ve pointed out previously, the protesters are demanding mandatory sensitivity training for all UND students, an official denunciation of the Fighting Sioux logo from the UND administration and a complete ban on the logo and nickname on campus.
Now a group of UND administrators say they’re joining the march, and you have to wonder if by lending their presence to the march they share the goals of the activists who organized it?
UND Provost Tom DiLorenzo, Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Reesor and other university administrators will participate in a protest walk held by American Indian students , the university said today. …
The statement said administrators will attend the walk “to show our support and allegiance in combating prejudice and intolerance in our community, state, and world.”
Officials said they will begin working with the newly-hired associate vice president of diversity and inclusion this summer to establish concrete ways to foster a more accepting environment on campus.
“Our goal is not only begin a dialogue of how to institute change, but also to set the stage for a culture change that will meld our Exceptional UND strategic blueprint with real goals and metrics to address our progress,” the university said. “We will create an educated citizenry who embraces an environment of life-long learning around acceptance, tolerance and a true belief that our differences are what make us stronger.”
So these administrators are going to demonstrate their commitment to “acceptance, tolerance and a true belief that our differences are what makes us stronger” by participating in an event organized by a group of people who want to censor those they disagree with?
There are big differences of opinion on the Fighting Sioux logo, even among those in the Native American community. Pushing to ban dissenting views on that issue from campus is the exact opposite of celebrating our differences and promoting tolerance.
I’ve requested a clarification from UND Spokesman Peter Johnson as to whether or not these administrators are supporting the goals of the march. I’ll update when, or if, I receive a response.