The Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Student Senate has reinstated the Pledge of Allegiance to its “internal operating agenda” after voting last week to stop reciting the pledge at its meetings.
The GVSU Student Senate recently voted 22-10 with 10 abstentions to stop reciting the pledge at meetings because some thought it wasn’t inclusive of international and non-Christian students.
“A lot of students didn’t feel comfortable with the ‘under God’ aspect of the pledge,” Student Senate spokesperson Ryan Fritz told the media, saying it created an uncomfortable environment for students who didn’t want to stand during the pledge.
According to The College Fix, the Student Senate committee chairs and vice-chairs had actually “secretly” decided to stop reciting the pledge much earlier in the semester. Student Senator Dorian Thompson, a member of the College Republicans, said he noticed the pledge was no longer being recited so he “motioned to bring it back.”
His effort ultimately failed earlier this month when the Student Senate officially voted to stop saying the pledge before General Assembly meetings.
“It’s important when we’re talking equity and equality and social justice that we are having those kinds of measures taken,” said Student Senator Lansing Sánchez-Castillo after the vote. The student senator said that the language in the pledge “doesn’t sit with this diverse population and fully representing them,” as The Michigan Star previously reported.
The GVSU Student Senate said in a November 17 statement that the “decision was made over the course of several weeks of conversation.”
— GVSU Student Senate (@GVStudentSenate) November 17, 2019
“Although we do not always agree, we strive to work together to make Grand Valley State University a better place for all. This decision was made to better align ourselves with other governing bodies, where stating the Pledge of Allegiance is not common practice,” the statement continued.
The GVSU Student Senate then released a statement Tuesday saying it had reversed its decision and will continue to say the pledge before meetings.
“Last week, the Grand Valley State University Student Senate democratically voted to remove the Pledge of Allegiance from their internal operating agenda. After considering feedback brought to the body, students, and the university, we contemplated the many diverse perspectives of students and stakeholders and, through deliberative dialogue, we worked to find a solution that we believe will meet the needs of all students,” said the statement. “As a result, the Grand Valley State University Student Senate has decided to reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance to give students the opportunity to stand or not stand.”
— GVSU Student Senate (@GVStudentSenate) November 19, 2019
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “GVSU Student Senate” by GVSU Student Senate.