Ready for another semester and another round of  icebreakers, Honors College students at The University of Alabama patiently sit in their seats, awaiting their turn to “tell the class a little bit about themselves.”

That “little bit” is comprised of four highly valued pieces of information: the person’s name, school year,  major and – the thing that is often the most remembered of the four – where they’re from.

Students begin mentioning their hometowns, urban and rural, and follow this with the familiar echoes of states like Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. There are fewer mentions of more far-flung states like Oregon, Utah and Nebraska.

In classes throughout Nott Hall, students will claim allegiance to each of the states from sea to shining sea, along both borders and on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Denny ChimesWell, that is, all except two.

There are no students from Montana or North Dakota.

The Honors College is represented by all of the states, except for the two northern neighbors, and we at Mosaic can’t figure out why. Is it because North Dakotans and Montanans inexplicably don’t feel like driving 20-30 hours to school? Is it because North Dakota and Montana are an undiscovered haven of Auburn fans? Or is it because Shane Sharpe, dean of the Honors College has lived in South Dakota and wants to be the shining star from the Dakota/Montana region?

Regardless of reason, we think UA’s Honors College would be a great place for students from both states.

Top 5 Reasons Why Someone from North Dakota Should Join the Honors College:
1. The American elm is your official state tree. It often reaches 120 feet or taller, and Denny Chimes is about 115 feet tall. That
is almost the same! You’ll feel right at home. Well, at least a shorter, less leafy version of home.
2. Wiz Khalifa was born in North Dakota, and Lionel Richie was born in Alabama. They are often considered to be similar people.
3. According to, Fort Union Trading Post was the principal fur-trading depot in the Upper Missouri River region from 1829-1867. Plato’s Closet on McFarland Boulevard has been the principal clothes-trading depot in the Tuscaloosa area for Honors College students (and other people who enjoy buying clothes) from 2011-present.
4. You have an abundance of Richardson ground squirrels, a.k.a. Flickertails, which flicks or jerks its tail while running or before entering its burrow. Our quad squirrels have just as bizarre and sudden movements.
5. Your state is the  No. 1 producer of honey, and the Honors College is really sweet!

Top 5 Reasons Why Someone from Montana Should Join the Honors College:
1. We know that having the name of your state song be the name of your state (it’s just “Montana”) has been a luxury that you’ve become accustomed to, but have no fear: If you come to Alabama, you will find that we have an equally plain state song name that will be equally as hard to forget– it’s just “Alabama.”
2. Montana has a density of seven people per square mile – that’s a lot of elbow room. Come to UA, where our campus has a density of 36 people per acre – your elbows will never be lonely again.
3. According to, the elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the human population. We promise that you will no longer be the minority if you come to UA’s Honors College, as we have approximately zero elk, deer and antelope enrolled.
squirrel24. We know that you’re self-conscious about being the only American state without a modern naval ship named in its honor (as reported by a website dedicated to Montana-related facts), but we at the Honors College promise not to judge you!
5. We know that you value women in politics, as you’re home to the first woman elected to the United States Congress, and we do too. Our Honors College Assembly president is senior Katelyn Senkus.