Student Vet Not Allowed to Recite Pledge of Allegiance at Meetings

by Molly Wharton

An Army veteran says he was not allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of a student-government meeting at the University of Wyoming. Fellow students leaders apparently informed him that the pledge could offend international students attending the meeting, he told Campus Reform

Cory Schroeder, who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, was recently elected as a senator in the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming. When he expressed his desire to start of the meeting with the pledge, he explained that “multiple senators sat me down and said it was a ‘very touchy subject’ and ‘we don’t want to offend anybody.’” 

After this disappointment, Schroeder approached the group’s vice president, Ricardo Lind-Gonzales, about his concern. Lind-Gonzales apparently told him that he would put the issue on the group’s agenda to be discussed, but it was left off the agenda for the remainder of the year. 

Schroeder was told that he could write a bill to allow the recitation of the pledge at the start of meetings, but he expressed his doubts about this solution to Campus Reform. He predicts that the bill’s passing would involve a “long process” and would have to be approved by the “liberal standing committee,” who he thinks will find small errors with it in order to delay the process.

Schroeder doesn’t think a bill should be necessary in order for him to recite the pledge, saying, “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.”

Lind-Gonzales wrote an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times denying Schroeder’s claim that students are prohibited from saying the pledge. He explained, however, that the working papers on how the group’s meetings are conducted, which he says are held “in high regard” and must be adhered to, do not include the pledge. “We always encourage senators to revise and update our working documents as they and their constituents see fit,” he added.

The university’s president Dick McGinity, who served in Vietnam, said in a statement, ”As a fellow veteran, I would like for all meetings of student government to begin with the Pledge of Allegiance.” He added, though, that as Schroeder’s group is an independent student organization, the choice is not up to him.

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