The Pledge of Allegiance was barred from the start of student government meetings at the University of Wyoming because officials felt it would offend foreign students. A college student, who also just happens to be an Army veteran, disagreed with the university's decision and pushed administrators to revisit the policy and honor the country by reciting the patriotic words.
Cory Schroeder, a six-year Army veteran, served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The staff sergeant is now in the Army Reserves and completing his education. After being elected to serve as a senator on the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming in May, he was made aware of the Pledge of Allegiance policy at the school. He will sit on the university's legislative body for one academic year.
When Schroeder first requested that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited at the opening of the student government meetings, he was reportedly told that the topic was a "touchy subject." Two international student also sit on the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming board and multiple of senators feared that reciting the words could be uncomfortable or offensive to them.
Sergeant Cory Schroeder was reportedly instructed to write a bill requesting an allocation of 20 seconds at the start of each meeting for the reading of the Pledge of Allegiance. According to Schroeder's comments in a Daily Caller report, he did not care for the idea for several reasons. The Army veteran noted that the bill process is extremely long and that the idea would be mocked by a "liberal standing committee."
Schroeder had this to say about the University of Wyoming Pledge of Allegiance ban:
"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."The student government organization follows Robert's Rules of Order, which addresses beginning meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance. Instead of opening the University of Wyoming student senate meetings with the pledge, the group's mission statement is read aloud. Lines in the statement include goals of striving for "responsible effective leadership" and "accurate representation."
Before going on national news shows to discuss the Pledge of Allegiance omission at the university. Sergeant Schroeder spoke with ASUW Vice President Ricardo Lind-Gonzales. The organization officer reportedly stated he would put the issue on the meeting agenda so the Army veteran would have an opportunity to speak on the topic. The pledge issue was allegedly left off the student senate agenda for the remainder of the academic year.
University of Wyoming representative Chard Baldwin said the student senate made the correct decision when putting the topic up for a 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.University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity, a Vietnam War veteran, had this to say about reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at student senate meetings:
"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."What do you think about the University of Wyoming Pledge of Allegiance issue?