At an Associated Student Government meeting on Thursday, March 5, students passed a resolution regarding the removal of an invocation before the annual Scholarship Award Ceremony.
The resolution was presented to the ASG by the President of Saddleback’s Free-Thinkers Club, Ashley Mockett.
As a result of its passing, the ASG will now plan the scholarship ceremony.
Included in the referendum presented by Mockett were clauses that opposed the inclusion of prayer at school functions such as the scholarship ceremony. Instead, the right of the individual to choose his or her own form of worship would be respected.
“I think it’s a good idea they removed it.,” said Nick Nikbakht, 21, engineering. “People have different beliefs and they might get offended.”
Nikbakht attended the scholarship ceremony last year, and said that at the table where he was sitting, “a lot of the donors were offended when all of a sudden [they] just started praying without any warning.”
Student support for the resolution appears widespread. John Andersen, 23, radio, said that he is “fine with the vote.”
“I’d rather not see it. As a public school, it’s not that I have anything against church or prayer; [church and school] are just two separate entities,” Andersen said.
Also proposed in the resolution is an alternative to a formal invocation: a brief moment of silence prior to such ceremonies. This will allow attendees of all beliefs to express their religious convictions however they see fit.