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‘Red Man’ Lyric Must Go, School Prez Says

FARGO, N.D. (CN) - North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani says a stanza in the school fight song has to go, for referring to Native Americans as "the Red Man."

Two North Dakota State faculty members wrote "The Yellow and Green" fight song in 1908.

Its third stanza says: "Hushed upon the boundless prairies is the bison's thund'ring tread, and the red man passes with him on his spoilers' bounty fed."

Bresciani has sent a letter to students, staff and alumni promising that the school will remove the language.

North Dakota State hosts an anonymous forum in which campus and community members can address issues of racism and bigotry on campus.

The Forum, Fargo's daily newspaper, reported that the initial complaint about the fight song came from the school's anonymous forum. It stated: "Pretty sure we shouldn't be using 'the red man.'", a Fargo news site, reported in February that President Bresciani and many students said they had never heard the fight song beyond the first verse.

When the third stanza was brought to Bresciani's attention, he immediately said it had to go.

"I believe it is important to share my reactions with you, as they reflect a commitment to maintaining the diverse, welcoming and supportive campus community we all value," President Bresciani wrote in an open letter to the NDSU community.

In November last year, the University of North Dakota changed its nickname from the "Fighting Sioux" to the "Fighting Hawks" after a long voting process, in which representatives of some, but not all of North Dakotas Sioux tribes objected to the name.

North Dakota State University's public relations office did not respond to a phone call seeking comment on the fight song.

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