Pledge of Allegiance: Yea or nay?

Pledge of Allegiance: Yea or nay?

While there are quite a few topics that are contentious in the Student Senate, the most recent of these hot debates has been the argument surrounding the Pledge of Allegiance

The debate comes after Student Senate’s decision to omit the Pledge at the beginning of General Assembly meetings, and then its eventual reinstatement weeks later. While the Pledge is included, it is not required for senators or attendees to stand, speak or participate in any way. Additionally, the football team has stopped standing on the field during the National Anthem at Lubbers Stadium, instead opting to stay in the locker room.   

While both sides of the Pledge debate have solid points and strong arguments, we ultimately think it comes down to individual beliefs. 

Since Grand Valley State University is a public university, federal funding supports our institution and education. With this in mind, one could argue that it’s important to say the Pledge and pay respect to support patriotic practices. 

However, GVSU is also home to over 300 international students from over 100 countries. And while Christianity is the most commonly practiced religion on campus according to a 2015 survey, 9 percent of the campus has no religious affiliation. Eight percent is Agnostic, 5 percent said they were spiritual with no religious affiliation and 9 percent chose not to specify on the survey. There are some religious minorities on campus as well, such as Muslim, Hindu and Jewish students. 

With a diverse range of religious views, it is evident that GVSU homes 25,000 students who do not all believe in the same, one god. A question that each person needs to ask themselves: Does the implementation of the Pledge or the National Anthem create an environment of otherness? 

That’s for you to decide.