GRAND FORKS -- Sixty-four University of North Dakota nickname ideas are moving on to the next round of discussion after a Monday committee meeting.
The 11-person committee went through all of the 1,172 individual nickname ideas on a list of viable suggestions compiled by consulting firm PadillaCRT and moved 26 forward on Monday. Last week, the committee went through 500 and moved 38 forward.
That leaves 64 names to be considered in the final discussions.
The committee has been narrowing down thousands of suggestions submitted by the public throughout April by mail and online.
The committee went through this first round of elimination by viewing each name quickly and voting yes or no; if even one committee member voted "yes," it was kept for consideration.
"Nodaks" had the most votes in support at Monday's meeting. "North Stars" came in second with six votes in support while "Spirit" and "Pride" tied for third with five votes each.
At the last meeting, "The Force" had six votes in favor of keeping it while "Big Green" and "Flames" tied for second with four votes each, but the number of votes won't be taken into account as the group moves forward.
At the last meeting, the committee also voted in favor of modifying names if necessary as they move forward for clarity or grammar.
A list of the 64 names moving forward for consideration will be posted online at grandforksherald.com.
The group originally was aiming to hold a public vote on a select few in early May at the direction of UND President Robert Kelley, but as time has progressed, committee members said they would take as much time as they need to "do it right."
UND is picking a new, permanent nickname after retiring its controversial Fighting Sioux monicker in December 2012 after the NCAA threatened sanctions. The school has played as UND/North Dakota with an interlocking UND logo ever since, and "North Dakota" was approved Monday for future consideration with two votes in support of it.
The committee's meetings are all open to the public and the next one has yet to be scheduled.
The group must now vet the remaining names using a series of attributes the nickname must have. Those are:
- Be unique, recognizable, inspiring and distinctly UND's.
- Promote a sense of pride, strength, fierceness and passion.
- Be representative of the state and region in a way that honors the traditions and heritage of the past but also looks to the future.
- Be a unifying and rallying symbol
The committee decided on eventually scoring nicknames with either -1, 0 or 1 point, but it still hasn't been decided when that system will be put to use.
Some of the names eliminated during this most recent meeting were "Pterodactyls," "Meadowlarks," "Pulverizers," "Northerners" and "Oil Frackers."
Padilla will now purchase accompanying website domains for the 64 names if they haven't already been purchased. The company had purchased 265 domain names as a preliminary precaution.
During the idea gathering process in April, many names were submitted multiple times. "North Dakota" was submitted the most often at 1,005 times, "North Stars" came in second at 195 submissions, and "Flickertails," a nickname used by the school prior to the 1930s, was submitted 186 times.
The task force also is having Kelly O'Keefe, a consultant with Padilla, look into the suggestion of "Nokota," after committee member and UND alumnus Lowell Schweigert asked why it was on the list of excluded name possibilities with inappropriate or legally unavailable names.
Committee member and United Tribes Technical College President Leander "Russ" McDonald said the word "Nakota"--spelled slightly differently--is a Native American tribe, and UND General Counsel Julie Evans said it was excluded because of NCAA stipulation that prohibits the use of Native American imagery.
The following 63 nicknames were moved on to the next stage of consideration by the UND nickname committee over the course of two meetings. The next meeting, which is open to the public, hasn't been scheduled yet.
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Fighting Green Hawks
Force of North
Warriors of the North