SGA shoots down prayer policy resolution

Lashana Harney

One by one, senators shot up from their seats to debate during Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting.

After more than 20 minutes of senate debate, Resolution 4-14-F, a resolution to Support Adopting a Nonsectarian Prayer Policy, was defeated. The purpose of the resolution was to support the adoption of the University Senate’s public prayer policy.

A nonsectarian prayer policy refers to a prayer that has a secular purpose, neither advances nor inhibits any specific religion and does not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion, according to the resolution. The resolution would have supported saying a nonsectarian prayer before university-sponsored events.

Seth Church, chief of staff, said this type of prayer is different from a sectarian prayer, which refers to a specific deity.

SGA President Nicki Taylor said the senate was divided which caused the resolution to be voted down.

“I think that it goes back to that it’s a very sensitive issue as prayer always has been,” said Taylor.  “Honestly, in Senate, we were divided in whether we should have prayer at all, or whether we should have nonsectarian prayer, or sectarian prayer. With that big of a divide, seeing three different viewpoints of the same issue, it is hard to come to a consensus because I do believe that this resolution was defeated in part for nonsectarian prayer, but it was also a real aspect of people who would rather just have no prayer at all. So, with that sort of split, I think that’s kind of what led to that outcome.”

Bill 9-14-F, Organizational Aid Appropriations for Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (Fiji) at WKU, passed with no debate. This bill allocated $250 from Organizational Aid funds to aid Fiji for the costs of the Purple Run, a 5K run on Oct. 11 in which participants had colored powder thrown on them. Proceeds from The Purple Run will be donated to Alzheimer’s research.

SGA senator Jody Dahmer announced the creation of the mobile application, MobileServe, where students can log their service hours that they do for their sorority or fraternity.

Taylor appointed Seth Church as the Cultural and Diversity Affairs committee chair. The committee will work to educate students about diversity and provide resources. Committee spots are still open.