The Student Government Association passed a resolution with a 24-6 vote allowing the delivery of nondenominational and voluntary prayers before university athletic events.
The resolution led to a great deal of discussion Tuesday among SGA members, many for the resolution but some against it.
Those opposed to the resolution argued that having a prayer before athletic events violates the rights of those with different religious beliefs or those without any particular religious beliefs at all.
The senators for the resolution said that no one is forced to participate in the prayer and that the prayer does not recognize or acknowledge a specific God or religion.
“Personally, I am a Christian and prayer is very important to me,” said Senator Amy Russo, a sophomore biomedical sciences major from Pace, Florida, who voted against the resolution.
“However, we attend a school in which there are multiple religions, and to focus on just one is rude to any students who do not share the same one,” Russo said.
“Granted, this resolution does state that this prayer does not pertain to one religion and is nondenominational; however, I feel as though it could easily be taken the wrong way, seeing that most students are probably unaware of the logistics gone in to the resolution,” she added.
Various ways to help veterans and military-affiliated students find a home at Troy were also discussed at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Aaron Byars, a senior social work major from Enterprise and president of the Student Veterans Association, discussed several events and activities to be held during the week of Veterans Day, with the partnership of the SGA.
This weeklong celebration will include a cookout, movie screenings and awareness presentations to encourage military-affiliated students to feel connected to the Troy campus and student body.
“I think it is important to serve the veterans and military-affiliated students because combined, they make up close to 1,000 students just on the Troy campus,” she said.
Heath Barton, a senior global business major from Opp and president of the SGA, encouraged students not only to be involved on campus, but also to get involved within the Troy community.
“This year we are really hoping to connect our city with our students in hopes that students can be encouraged in that this city can be home for them.”
Students have an opportunity this weekend to connect with the people of Troy by attending the Fifth Saturday event in Downtown Troy.
From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., students can enjoy activities such as an open mic event, various games, and specials on food and drinks on the downtown square.
Max Herman, a junior hospitality management major from Panama City Beach, Florida, and head of the student life committee, introduced the Food Advisory Council, a new way for students to get directly involved with Sodexo to improve the dining options available to students on campus.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for students outside of the SGA who want to be involved, but feel as if they don’t have enough time to get involved,” he said. “It’s something that will take minimal time, but make such a direct impact on students.”
Herman encouraged interested students to stop by the SGA office to request more information regarding the Food Advisory Council.
The SGA also announced this Friday as College Colors Proclamation Day. Students are encouraged to wear cardinal red, white, and black to show Trojan pride around campus.