An Army veteran who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq said he was told by fellow student leaders at the University of Wyoming that he could not recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of student government meetings because it may offend the sensibilities of international students.
CampusReform.org first reported Tuesday that Cory Schroeder, the six-year Army veteran, said he was informed by senators from the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming that the pledge is a 'touchy subject' and may be deemed offensive by some.
The veteran said he raised his concerns with Ricardo Lind-Gonzales, the vice president of the group, who allegedly assured him that he would put the issue on the agenda earlier in the school year, but the report said the issue was never raised.
Schroeder told Campus Reform that there shouldn't need to be a a separate bill for approving the pledge.
Lind-Gonzales was not immediately reached for comment, but sent an email to The Los Angeles Times, denying Schroeder's claim. He said the government's "working documents” on how meetings are conducted do not include the pledge.
"We always encourage senators to revise and update our working documents as they and their constituents see fit," he wrote.
Schroeder said he was told that he could try writing a bill to allow the pledge, but he told Campus Reform that it would likely be a long process and the "liberal standing committee" would have a field day criticizing elements of his bill.
Campus Reform's report said that according to the law the group follows, the pledge can be said, but the government group reportedly reads its mission statement instead. A school spokesman told The Times that the group's position to adhere to the bylaws a “reasonable position.”
Dick McGinity, a Vietnam War veteran and president of the school, said in a statement Tuesday that, speaking only for himself, he would like all school government meetings to begin with the Pledge. But pointed out that Schroeder's group is an independent organization.