- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - People with ties to the University of North Dakota will have five days next month to cast their vote on a new school nickname.

UND on Tuesday announced it had scheduled the online voting to begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, and close at midnight on Friday, Oct. 23.

UND has been without a nickname for three years, since the state Board of Higher Education retired the controversial Fighting Sioux moniker that the NCAA deemed offensive. A committee this summer finalized five nickname options: Roughriders, North Stars, Fighting Hawks, Nodaks and Sundogs.

People who don’t want a new nickname wanted “North Dakota” as an option, but UND President Robert Kelley in August said it would not be included in the vote because it’s an identity, not a nickname.

“The five potential nicknames were thoughtfully recommended by the nickname committee after an extensive public comment period,” Kelley said in a statement Tuesday. “I encourage all eligible voters to carefully consider these potential nicknames and choose the one that they feel best represents the University of North Dakota.”

Voting is open to UND students, faculty and staff; school alumni and retirees; donors; and athletic event season ticket holders. People who fall into more than one category may vote only once.

The Utah-based private research company Qualtrics will conduct the vote. UND expects to announce the results early the week of Oct. 26.

If any of the proposed nicknames receives more than 50 percent of the votes, it will become the new moniker. If none of the options 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.

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