The Student Government Association passed a resolution supporting voluntary prayer before any University-sponsored events.
This resolution was introduced in accordance with a resolution allowing the pledge of allegiance to be recited before SGA meetings. Both resolutions are customarily introduced at the beginning of each new academic year.
The resolution focusing on voluntary prayer resulted in discussion among members of the SGA—many concurred while some dissented.
The floor was open for comments, and Leandro Froes, a junior political science major from Brazil and a Supreme Court justice, was opposed to the motion.
“I believe we should not pass this resolution,” Froes said. “The United States of America is a secular country, which means church and state are separated.”
Froes based his argument on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which forbids Congress to passing any law respecting a specific religion.
“We also have to remember that this is a public university and there are students who don’t share the same religion with the majority,” Froes said. “We should not make them uncomfortable just by being present while we pray.”
Sam Moody, a junior risk management and insurance major from Montgomery and vice president of campus activities, shared his perspective on the resolution.
“It’s true that Troy is a public university,” Moody said. “Its’ student body is very diverse regarding religion, background, and culture.”
He emphasized that SGA completely acknowledges our diversity and does not intend to offend anyone’s religious belief – or lack thereof. When asked about students who do not follow a certain religion, Moody said, “They have the right to abstain from participating because the prayers are strictly voluntary.”
Amy Russo, a junior broadcast journalism major from Pace, Florida, and an At-Large senator, offered her perspective.
“The Student Government Association is here to help serve the people, and with this being the biggest international campus in the state of Alabama, we need to remember that there are many different religions,” she said.
Russo said that although students can pray for any religions, the resolution is for any and all religions, not just Christianity.
“I think a moment to pray or think on your own before those events would be a good alternative,” Russo said.
Ashli Morris, a junior political science major from Athens and an At-Large Senator said that she saw both pros and cons of the resolution.
“It is absolutely voluntary, which mean it is not forced on anyone,” Morris said.
However, according to her, it is the University’s obligation to make every student feel comfortable and accepted. They should not feel constrained by anything.
Upon a vote, the resolution passed unanimously.
Bills amending the SGA Code of Laws to change the “Student Life” committee to “Campus Life” committee and the “Publicity” committee to “Marketing and Public Relations” committee were also passed.
A 1970s-themed pep rally, “Peace Out Austin Peay,” will take place in Veterans Memorial Stadium in preparation for the game on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 5:30 p.m. Organizations will not have assigned seating for the pep rally.
The Homecoming packet will be available Thursday, Sept. 1. Organizations participating in Homecoming will need to attend a meeting on that Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in Patterson room 103.
It was announced that three prospective sororities are coming in September to tour the campus and give a presentation to Troy women by invitation only.
Alpha Chi Omega will be coming Thursday, Sept. 1, Gamma Phi Beta will be coming Thursday, Sept. 8, and Alpha Omicron Pi will be coming Thursday, Sept. 15.