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SGA adds prayer and the pledge to school events

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Asem Abdelfattah

Staff Writer

The Student Government Organization (SGA) passed three resolutions at their last meeting that
add the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States, saying a prayer at the beginning of
each of its meetings and saying a prayer at any school sponsored event including athletic events
and graduation ceremonies.
Two resolutions stating that “before every meeting, the 2018-2019 (SGA) Senate shall recite the
pledge of allegiance,” and “say a prayer in the order of business,” have been adopted at SGA’s
last meeting.
Carter Ray, a junior geomatics and land surveying major from Troy and chair of the constitution
and laws committee, said the resolution continues a tradition that started with SGA.
“It’s our formal order of business to say a prayer and recite the pledge of allegiance,” Ray said.
“It has been a tradition since the first SGA and has continued ever since.
“This resolution is passed annually to continue this standard,” Ray said.
Alex Reynolds, a junior nursing major from Dothan and Vice President of Legislature Affairs, said
the resolutions promote the general morale of the Senate.
“These resolutions are important to the Senate morale because they promote freedom and
ability to be able to pray and be respect the flag,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds added that participating in the pledge of allegiance is voluntary however respect for
pledge of allegiance is mandatory.
“It’s perfectly within your right to not participate as long as you are not disrespecting the flag or
distracting others,” Reynolds said. “You can respect what we do by merely standing, no need to
pledge vocally.”
Another resolution that “allow(s) and encourage(s) the student body to establish a habit of
prayer at Troy University events,” has been adopted.
Ray said this resolution aims to give students the ability to pray during a school event.
“This just simply allows campus organizations and students to pray at club meetings or Troy
sponsored events if they so choose,” Ray said. “Prayer is strictly voluntary, it’s a student’s choice
whether they want to participate.”
Ray said that this resolution does not go against the notion of separation of church and state
because prayer is protected by the first amendment.
“This resolution is not trying to force religion onto a public university,” Ray said. “Many students
ask to lead prayer during school events, certainly they are not being forced Ray said.
“We encourage students to do only what they so choose and we would be doing them a
dishonor by telling them they can’t pray publicly,” Ray said.
Ray added that this resolution does not discriminate based on religion where any student can
pray during a school sponsored event regardless of their religion.

“Any student, no matter his or her religion, can request to pray in form that they wish at any
kind of university event.”