An Unwelcome Environment

University of North Dakota
Apparently things are worse than I thought at the University of North Dakota. Sally Page, UND’s affirmative action officer, has stated in a memo to campus administrators that publicly opposing the UND “nickname and Indian-head logo” could create an “unwelcome” climate for students who support the “nickname.” I think that Sally Page is forgetting about all of the UND students, staff, and faculty members who are made unwelcome on a DAILY basis by the presence and implied university support of UND’s racist imagery.

AP story via Diverse Issues in Higher Education

The University of North Dakota’s affirmative action officer, Sally Page, said in a memo that campus departments and programs that oppose the school’s Fighting Sioux nickname and logo might create an “unwelcome” environment for nickname-supporting students.

UND’s nickname and Indian-head logo have been a divisive issue on campus for years. Page’s memo references a newspaper advertisement that lists 27 UND programs, departments and governing bodies that have stated their opposition to the nickname and logo. Some representatives say departmental silence on the nickname issue could be read as a tacit endorsement of the university’s support of the name and logo.

“Both positions have the same chilling effect, just on different people,” says Sebastian Braun, a professor in UND’s Department of Indian Studies. “(Page’s position) allows the university to publicly support its stance but would not allow parts of the university to publicly oppose that stance.” –Associated Press

Here is an excerpt from the letter that was written by Sally Page and printed in the Grand Forks Herald:

“From: Sally Page, Affirmative Action Officer

Re: Ad in Grand Forks Herald September 22, 2007

I assume that most of you saw the ad on page 2A of Saturday’s Herald listing UND programs, departments, and other UND groups supporting the name change and the logo. The problem, and it’s not new, is that UND departments and programs have and are taking race as one of their underlying values. The effect at a department and program level is those individuals, and more importantly American Indian students, who do not have a position on the Sioux name or logo or who may support the name and logo may experience a “chilling effect” in those departments and educational programs or in services provided in those programs.”

WOW. Holy batshit batman! Sally Page is the AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICER for the University of North Dakota. I nearly fell off my chair when she said that “the problem…is that UND departments and programs have and are taking race as one of their underlying values.” Race is a foundational element of any and all affirmative action departments!