March 28, 2008

Party proves UND prejudice

'Cowboy' party:  one more nail in Sioux logo coffin?At that party, some students dressed in frilled Indian dresses, feathers and loincloths. Some wore paint on their bodies and faces, and in a photograph one male student strikes what appears to be a stereotypical pose.

The off-campus party was sponsored by Gamma Phi Beta sorority, whose on-campus house sits next to the UND American Indian Student Services house. The pictures were posted on the Facebook site of a sorority member. They have been removed, but not before they were found by a member of an anti-logo student group, copied and circulated as a slide show with critical commentary.

The sorority has been placed on probation by its national office and by UND's dean of students office pending an investigation of the discrimination complaint.
People react:The incident sparked another effusive round in the logo debate on Internet forums, including this post on, a fan site not officially connected to UND: "No excuse, except they're young and stupid, which we all were at one time. Even though [the party] was off-campus, this is probably the final nail in the coffin of the nickname."

Another poster said the party "reminds me of a shindig at [another university] a few years ago. Some brilliant white boys decided to throw a KKK-themed party."

He went on: "I'd like to think the majority of us are respectful, realize the history and proudly wear or use the name and logo. Then you have some absolute idiots go and decide to throw a Cowboy/Indian ... party on a campus embroiled in a debate over the nickname. How stupid can you possibly be? ... If they do retire the nickname in the near future (I hope not), I hope they directly link this event to the ultimate decision."
Comment:  How much more proof do we need of the pervasive racism on the UND campus? Supporters claim they're honoring Indians, then demonstrate the "honor" by dressing as half-naked savages.

FYI, racism doesn't necessarily mean overtly attacking or insulting someone. You can be racist if you think an entire race of people is "different," even if you harbor no ill will toward them.

For more on the subject, see Fighting the Fighting Sioux, Team Names and Mascots, and Indian Wannabes.

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