With the state House declaring war on the status quo in higher education by passing a budget so chock full of reforms it set off five hours of sturm und drang at the State Board of Higher Education meeting on Thursday we didn’t really need another data point to illustrate how dissatisfied some are with the North Dakota University System.
But tonight, in a very high profile way, we got another another indication that many people – this time students – just aren’t happy at all. In fact, they are really unhappy.
A group of students were ejected from the
Fighting Sioux University of North Dakota hockey game tonight for flying a “Fire Kelley” banner.
“Kelley,” of course, is UND President Robert Kelley. One of the students involved with executing the banner display – a SAB reader, I am proud to say, sent me the photo above.
The people in charge of the universities often lean pretty heavy on sycophantic student groups to justify and support their actions. But those student groups are not always very representative of the attitudes of rank-and-file students.
As evidenced by the incident tonight. I’m told the student section booed lustily when the kids with the banner were escorted out.
Good for them.
By the way, I am disturbed that these students were ejected. The Ralph is private property, I suppose, but universities are supposed to be tolerant of dissent and free speech. This banner was not crude or abusive. It simply called for the termination of a public official.
They should have let the students have their say. But the security folks were pros in doing their jobs. “The security was very respectful, supportive and never harassed us,” Austin Emineth, one of the students who organized the banner, told me.
Here is the uncropped photo: