Putting to rest the myth of a ‘free ride'As the angry voices over UND's nickname and logo grew to a fevered pitch, one assertion stood out as being so blatantly incorrect that it needs to be corrected and never repeated. It is this: The claim that American Indian students somehow get a “free ride” at UND.
This claim was made again and again in some 120 comments that hit the Herald's Web site Thursday in connection with a nickname story (“Group rescinds support,” Page 1A). But it's one of those untruths that is so flagrant, it makes all other arguments from nickname supporters seem false.
The facts:[L]et me tell you from the lips of Boyd and Robin Holden, director of the student financial aid office: All undergraduate students who are eligible (according to a needs assessment by the financial aid office) get a financial-aid package from the university. This package typically includes a mix of grants, waivers, loans and a “work study” amount that, when added to the contribution expected from the student and the student's family, totals the expected cost of a year's study at UND.
I repeat, all students who have financial need get this financial aid package, regardless of their ethnic background. The grant and loan amounts vary among students depending in part on their level of need.
Comment: The posted comments show the racism underlying the mascot debate
. Whites want to keep Indians safely in the past, where they don't threaten the whites' social and economic privileges. When actual Indians assert their right to be free of racism and prejudice, white people can't stand it. "How dare you try to reach beyond your place in society? We founded this country and made it great. You were losers--savage
--and you got what you deserved. No matter how hard you try, you'll always be inferior to us."
UND "honors" a fictional Indian of the past:
UND students show what they think of real Indians today (my interpretation):
Writerfella here --
After writerfella left the USAF and was becoming a writer, he realized that his past educational experiences and inventories were not enough to propel him very far in his chosen occupation. Because he had the GI Bill, Kiowa Education grants, Oklahoma Grants-In-Education, and Pell Grants, he was able to attend 12 colleges and universities to study writing, writing theory, English studies, and Journalism, plus sciences and technologies as electives. BUT --
Rarely did his own funds and those of his financial aids ever result in a plus figure and, when they did, it always was in a few hundreds of dollars. In fact, at the very last, attending the University of Miami (FL) from 1980 - 1983, writerfella was paying fully one-half of the $6000 per semester to attend the top show business writing school in the nation. Why there? Sylvester Stallone went there only six years before, as well as many movie industry writers before either of them. That last year, the BIA had a shortfall in student grant funding and so it is that they shorted writerfella's tuition bill some $600. To this day,writerfella still owes UM that amount plus interest. He was sued in absentia in small claims court for the $600 but by judicial letter was able to show the court that UM was claiming the amount was due for an unpaid student loan. NEVER in any of writerfella's college years did he ever seek or obtain a student loan, and the court decided in his favor. Now, if all of that sounds like a "free ride," writerfella has a few 2 x 4's to swing to get the accusers' attention...
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