NDSU acts to target prejudice

But as a former NDSU student, I worry the student body will refuse to stop singing an offensive song.

by Keelia Moeller

Dean Bresciani, president of North Dakota State University, recently discovered what he deemed “troubling” lyrics in the third stanza of the school’s song, which included culturally offensive words like “the red man.”
Although the school doesn’t seem to have recently performed these lyrics, Bresciani has moved to remove all but the first stanza of the school song from anything the university publishes. Vice President for Student Affairs Timothy Alvarez also plans to gather all students and staff to discuss why appropriateness overruled the school’s history with the song.
Despite these efforts, I’m not sure the students will respond with absolute obedience when it comes to eliminating culturally offensive lyrics. As a former NDSU student, I can tell you the student body takes sports events and school spirit more seriously than most.
Considering that one of NDSU’s unofficial fighting cries against the University of North Dakota contained racism and profanity, I don’t see the popular elimination of entire stanzas from the NSDU fight song happening in the near future, especially at the football games.
I applaud Bresciani’s decision to call out cultural insensitivity, but it might take heavier-handed reinforcement strategies to truly remove these stanzas from use.
Meanwhile, as students at the University of Minnesota, it’s our job to be on the lookout for anything in our community that might single out or marginalize entire groups of people. Racism in sports is a serious issue, and we don’t call it out as often as we should.
Keelia Moeller welcomes comments at [email protected].