Student government leaders at a Michigan university said Tuesday that a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance would be restored to the agenda for their meetings after they voted last week to scrap it.
In a statement on Facebook, the Grand Valley State University's Student Senate said they decided to restore the pledge to the agenda after it “contemplated the many diverse perspectives of students and stakeholders ... through deliberate dialogue, we worked to find a solution that we believe will meet the needs of all students." Under the new policy, students have the option to stand or not stand during the recitation of the Pledge.
The body voted last week to remove the Pledge of Allegiance from its agenda after its verbiage was deemed non-inclusive. Video obtained by Campus Reform showed the Grand Valley State University student senate discussing the vote after weeks of debate.
Students who backed the initiative scrapping the Pledge reportedly took issue with the mention of the word "God."
"I have no allegiance to pledge to the Federal Government as someone who feels entirely unsupported by its figurehead," one student said.
"The lack of respect and empathy for the greater student body hurts my heart," another added.
Appearing on "Fox & Friends: First" Tuesday with hosts Jillian Mele and Rob Schmitt, Campus Reform Editor-in-Chief Cabot Phillips said it was "disappointing to see students come out and say that the Pledge of Allegiance represents an oppressive government in their words."
Phillips said, just "the fact that they have the privilege to go out and say just how oppressive our government is, shows how wonderful our country is in the first place, that you can criticize our government without having to have any fear of retribution."
"And, ironically, they don't see their own privilege in that statement," he exclaimed. "They don't see their American privilege. The fact that globally it's not a common thing to be able to criticize your own government."
"I think when oppression is viewed as a currency ... what easier target than to say that the United States itself is oppressing me," Phillips added. "There are students right now halfway around the world in Hong Kong fighting real oppression that are singing the national anthem of America because they know that we represent true freedom."
"They'd be very confused by the fact that American students here -- that have the freedom to speak out against their government -- are trying to take that freedom away from other students," he concluded.