NORMAN, Okla. — On Tuesday night, the University of Oklahoma Undergraduate Student Congress passed a resolution removing the Pledge of Allegiance from the congressional agenda.
"I think that’s just pretty much a load of crap,” Philip Aldridge, an OU student, said.
This is the first time the Pledge of Allegiance has been removed from the congressional agenda since it was established in 2008.
"Not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is un-American,” Sophie Brousseau, an OU senior, said.
The resolution passed Tuesday night 15-11, with one member abstaining.
"For us to be like the best most inclusive body, I thought that we should remove it,” OU senior Gabi Thompson, who authored the bill, said.
Despite some criticism, that’s one reason why Thompson told News 4 she authored the bill.
"It was written as a celebration of Columbus Day in 1892, and in the city of Norman we don't celebrate Columbus Day, we celebrate Indigenous People's Day,” Thompsons said. "I was really able to connect with a lot of the international students and them saying thank you for writing it.”
Students like Khalil Tafni and Ari Stide are among the international community, which makes up 10 percent of OU’s student body.
"I mean, the U.S. was discovered prior to Columbus getting here, not only by indigenous people but by other explorers,” Tafni said in response to the resolution.
"I feel like yes we should have it, but at the same time, if a certain group of people, if it doesn't include a certain group of people then yeah, we should take that into acknowledgment,” Stide said.
While some are calling the change “un-American,” Thompsons is standing behind her bill.
"I think that we can make a change and make sure people are heard even from a small level,” Thompson said.