Title

UND announces nickname voting process and dates

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-28-2015

Abstract

UND announces nickname voting process and dates

University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley has announced the details of the voting process for determining final selection of a nickname for UND’s athletics teams.

The voting process, which will be conducted completely online, will take place in mid-October and will extend for approximately one week. Precise dates will be announced later. Voting will be open to the following groups:

  • Current UND Students
  • Current UND Faculty
  • Current UND Staff
  • UND Retirees
  • UND Alumni
  • UND Donors (including Champions Club members) (one vote per account)
  • Current season ticket holders to UND athletic events (one vote per account)

In order to be eligible to vote, individuals must be a UND retiree; a current faculty or staff member; a currently-enrolled student as of Sept. 30, 2015; or a donor or season ticket holder as of Aug. 31, 2015.

Shortly before the voting period begins, eligible voters will receive an email with voting instructions. Current UND students, faculty and staff will receive the emails at their UND (UND.edu) email address. Alumni, donors, retirees and all current season ticket holders must confirm their emails through a process that will be communicated soon. Eligible voters who fall into more than one of the above categories — such as a staff member who is also an alumnus — may only vote once, and any identified multiple votes will be voided.

The online voting process will be conducted by Qualtrics, a third-party survey technology provider with more than 7,000 customers in 75 countries. In 2014, Qualtrics customers sent over one billion surveys worldwide.

During the voting process, eligible voters will cast one vote for a single option on the ballot. Eligible voters will choose one of five nickname options:

Fighting Hawks Nodaks North Stars Roughriders Sundogs

If any of the proposed nicknames receives a majority of more than 50 percent of the votes, that name will be determined to be the new nickname for the University of North Dakota.

In the event that no single nickname receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff vote will be held between the two top vote-getters shortly after the initial vote.

Said UND President Robert Kelley: “In deciding the final list of names to include in the final vote, I have reviewed the recommendations of the Nickname Committee, the additional input received from a recent student poll, and input from many other individual students (including student athletes), faculty, staff, alumni and community members who have contacted me. I have considered all this input carefully and, in determining the final voting list, have concluded that it is in the best long-term interest of the University not to use ‘North Dakota’ as the University’s official nickname.”

President Kelley added, “As I have noted many times, North Dakota is not a nickname — it is a reflection of our pride in who we are. We have been North Dakota — UND — for more than 130 years, and we always will be. The Nickname Committee has delivered a list of five prospective nicknames with the potential to add value to our already-existing North Dakota identity and evoke the pride and spirit that we all feel for our University and our State. I respect and support the process the Committee used, and the extensive public input they gathered. In making this decision, I also respect their final recommendations.”

President Kelley also received extensive input concerning the people who should be involved in the voting process. One important consideration in the decision is the importance of verifying voter identity to prevent fraud. Each eligible voter’s identity and connection to UND will be confirmed.

Even more importantly, noted President Kelley, “We have appreciated the opportunity this past year to gather feedback and ensure representation from all interested parties across the state and across the country. This was accomplished through broad stakeholder representation on the two teams that worked on this process. It was also accomplished by gathering feedback from last fall's town hall meetings, an online survey, and the month-long nickname comment process conducted by the Nickname Committee this past April. It is now time to allow the final step of this process to be undertaken by those individuals with the most direct ties to UND — students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees, donors, and season ticket holders.”

Information About Email Delivery of Voting Instructions

Eligible voters will soon receive voting instructions. While students, faculty and staff will already have a confirmed means of identification through their UND email (UND.edu), retirees, alumni, donors and current season ticket holders will need to ensure that their emails are current in their respective databases in order to be able to vote. The weeks prior to the vote will allow these groups the opportunity to do that.

Current season ticket holders (non-Champions Club): Contact the Ralph Engelstad Arena Box Office at 701.777.0855 between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, or email tickets@theralph.com any time between now and October 1, 2015 to ensure that your correct email is on file.

UND alumni, retirees, and donors: Additional information will soon be sent explaining how to confirm email addresses. For alumni, this information will be sent via the Alumni Review and through a direct mail.

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