ALLENDALE, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Valley State University Student Senate has decided to reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance while giving students the option to stand or not.
In a statement on Facebook, the senate said it decided to once again regularly include the Pledge of Allegiance on each agenda after it “contemplated the many diverse perspectives of students and stakeholders.”
The statement goes on to say students have the opportunity to decide whether to participate or not.
Last week, the student senate voted to remove the Pledge of Allegiance from the senate’s official agenda.
“It had nothing to do with the university,” said GVSU Student Senate Vice President of Public Relations Ryan Fritz to News 8. “The university in no way, shape or form pressured us into any one decision. We are an autonomous body. We’re independent of the university, but we reflect the feedback we get from the public and that is how we decided to act.”
Those in favor of nixing the Pledge of Allegiance say it was a way to make sure all students are represented. Other students felt the move took away students’ rights.
“I personally disagree with the outcome that happened last week and I’m happy we have finally got to a place where we can have a legitimate answer that can stick,” said senate member Dorian Thompson. “I just believe it’s time to go forward and focus on principles that unite us — not the issues that divide us.”
At least one GVSU student senator disagrees with the reversal.
“Regardless of what your thoughts are on the Pledge, this was decided by a democratic vote by the general body. So personally, I think it was a complete subversion of what we came here to do, which was deliberate and decide things democratically,” said senate member Hugh Boyd to News 8.
Efforts to reach other members of GVSU Student Senate were not successful by Tuesday evening.
A representative from GVSU sent the following statement:
“The Student Senate makes its own agenda, handles its own discussions and votes. The original decision and the reversal of it were completely handled by the Student Senate. We support their right to debate and vote on issues.”