North Dakota State’s school song “The Yellow and the Green” is under review for cultural and racial references.
President Dean Bresciani said in a Listserv Wednesday that “through our University’s system for confidential reporting of bias issues, I’ve learned that the third stanza (of ‘The Yellow and the Green’) contains a variety of cultural and ethnic references (toward both majority and minority populations) which by contemporary standards are troubling.”
Bresciani said two actions must be taken, the first being the immediate and intermediary removal of all but the first stanza of the song from all NDSU websites and publications.
The second task was to ask Provost Beth Ingram and Vice President for Student Affairs Timothy Alvarez to bring a faculty, staff and student group together to “study the song in its entirety and offer recommendations on the balance between our history and tradition of the song with contemporary concerns for its appropriateness.”
“My intention is that the thoughtful and respectful conversation our campus community has traditionally valued will come from doing so,” Bresciani said.
“I have never heard it beyond (the first stanza) and I suspect most in our University community are like me,” Bresciani said about the third stanza of the song.
The song, first published in The Spectrum in November 1907, was wrote by A.E. Minard.
Lyrics for the third stanza as found in the North Dakota Agricultural College 1908 yearbook are:
“Hushed upon the boundless prairies
Is the bison’s thundering tread,
And the red man passes with him
On his spoiler’s bounty fed.
But the Norse, the Celt and Saxon
With their herd increase and find
Mid these fields of green and yellow
Plenty e’en for all mankind.”