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Faculty Members Do Not Speak For Law Students
By Ryan Cheshire
The Forum - 04/08/2002
It is the feeling of many students at the University of North Dakota School of Law that The Forumís article of April 3, entitled ďUND law school opposes monikerĒ either deliberately or recklessly portrayed the Law Schoolís opinion on the Sioux name. It should be stated that the only persons who voted for the resolution discussed in The Forumís article were the following tenured and tenure-track professors:
Candace Zierdt, Barbara Vogelwede, Jim Grijalva, Kathrine Rand, Alan Romero, Thomas Lockney and Dean W. Jeremy Davis.
As The Forum stated in its article there are about 200 students at the UND Law School. However, those 200 did not necessarily support the resolution. The student body and staff at the school were purposely left out of the resolution vote. While some of the students may support the name change, many do not. Even those students that do support the change did not have a vote to back the resolution.
To state that the UND Law School supports that change because seven tenured and tenure-track professors felt this way, is unarguably inaccurate. The public, our state representatives, the Board of Higher Education, and alumni donating to the law school, should be aware that on a daily basis many of UNDís faculty spend much of their time and resources at the law school devoted solely to this issue. Some faculty members have even canceled class to attend conferences and lectures on the topic of the nickname while on the other hand, have refused to cancel in such instances as when the Supreme Court of North Dakota visits our school.
It should be clearly stated that the University of North Dakota School of Law provides a great educational experience. This comment in no way is meant to represent that the majority of students either support or oppose the name change.
The faculty clearly supports the premise, as Leigh Jeanotte stated, that: ďas there is greater awareness and more education, I think youíll see more and more opposition come forward.Ē To put it simply, Jeanotte, as well as many of the faculty, seem to support the notion that if you believe the name is not offensive, it must be because you are ignorant. The student representatives to the faculty committee intentionally requested that the tenured and tenure-track faculty not portray the resolution as a school backed initiative. It seems, however, that The Forumís article, along with the tenured and tenure-track faculty members have succeeded to do just that.
The undersigned students of the University of North Dakota School of Law:
Cheshire is a student at the UND School of Law. This commentary also was signed by Law School students Sarah Benson, Kristi Schatz, Jodi Pariseau, Stephanie Stiel, Kristine Goddard Anderson, Allen Brabender, Camille Hann, Chad Jetvig, Larrrin Bergman, Tim Pederson, Mike Bolinski, Lindsey Haugen, Jason Mclean, Ryan Henson, Mitch Armstrong, Jason Tesh, Allan Jungels, Rob Olson, Chad Garner, Charles Dendy, Heith Janke, Jason Elbert, Andrea Avery, Angie Sersha, Seamus Duffy, Steve Theusan, Emilee Harren, Jennifer Neigum, Kara Schmitz, Steve Bitz, Robert Doll, Jay Knudson, Tara Nesland, Nick Simonson, Reed Brendborg, Brett Brudvik, Annette Bendish and Telly Meier.