Jun 18, 2014 02:23 AM EDT
Veteran’s Request to Open Meetings with “Pledge of Allegiance” Denied at University of Wyoming
The request that the Pledge of Allegiance be allowed to be recited before the commencement of the student government meetings at the University of Wyoming was denied.
The request was made by Cory Schroeder, a six-year Army veteran who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Army Staff Sergeant was elected in May to serve as a senator on the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming (ASUW) - the university's student legislative body - for the upcoming academic year.
When Schroeder requested about opening meetings with the Pledge, he was told that it was a "very touchy subject" and that the Pledge might upset the body's two international students, Chicago Tribune reports.
The student senator was suggested to author a bill to allocate 20 seconds for the Pledge into each meeting. Schroeder said that he was not in favour of such an alternative course of action, because it would be a "long process" and would be mocked at by a "liberal standing committee," Daily Caller reports.
"If you look at any constitution that governs a student body, there's no law, there's no bill that states you must give 20 seconds to say the Pledge of Allegiance, [and there] shouldn't be," Schroeder said, Campus Reform reports.
University spokesman Chad Baldwin said that the body has taken the right decision by putting the issue to vote.
"What they have is a meeting template that they follow that is written into their rules. They need a vote from the [student] Senate to change it," Baldwin said.
According to Robert's Rules of Order, meetings can be opened with the recitation of the Pledge of Alliance. Instead of the Pledge, the body read its mission statement, which aspires to "accurate representation, professional interaction with campus programs and organization [sic], and responsible effective leadership."
Opponents to the student body's actions quickly took on to Twitter. One user said to "STAY AWAY from the University of Wyoming" and another one wondered whether "Is this the U.S.?"
"As a fellow veteran, I would like for all meetings of student government to begin with the Pledge of Allegiance. But this is not up to me. ASUW is an independent student organization with its own procedures and rules of conduct, and these elected student leaders make their own decisions. The ASUW leaders have indicated that there is a process they intend to follow, and I expect that they will do so," said Dick McGinity, University of Wyoming President who is a Vietnam War veteran.
Here is a statement from the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming:
The Pledge of Allegiance was not banned from ASUW Meetings.
The Pledge of Allegiance is a tradition that many organizations adopt in their meeting procedures. This is not currently a component of our agenda as outlined in Article II (Order of Business) of the ASUW Rules and Procedures. The ASUW Senator has been encouraged to pursue the amendment through legislation. It is not within the power of the Executive Branch (which includes the ASUW Vice President and ASUW President) to change the Order of Business in our working documents. Through submitting legislation, ASUW Senators have the power to make changes to these documents which would ensure that ASUW working documents uphold their purpose to protect the democratic process of ASUW Student Government.
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