Constitution Day 2015
Constitution Day can be seen as a celebratory event; and in many cases it is a celebration of an experiment in democratic governance that continues to balance rights to equality and liberty. On most of our campuses, however, Constitution Day is not (only) celebratory, but a day to spur people to think more deeply, to consider opposing perspectives, to spur citizens to action and to wrestle with complex issues facing our civic life and democratic institutions.
We hope you take the time to peruse the 2015 Constitution Day offerings of just some of our ADP campuses. They’ve been busy registering new voters and discussing infringements on voter rights. They are urging their communities to focus on race, racism and other inequalities and social injustices that persist in our country. We encourage you to do the same today and every day.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis
UMSL is commemorating Constitution Day by holding an essay contest titled, “What does freedom mean to you?” They also have artwork posted on the MSC Bridge following the same question as the essay contest all month long. On Constitution Day, September 17, they are holding discussions based on these questions; “Does the Constitution protect religion from government? Does the Constitution protect government from religion? Both/neither? How does it do that?” Later that day Chancellor Tom George will speak and awards for the essay contest will be given out along with essay readings. Impromptu speeches will focus on freedom and the Constitution.
Middle Tennessee State University
Grad Student and Activist Aleia Brown will be moderating a voting rights panel discussion with renowned Civil Rights leaders on Constitution Day. The Panel speakers include James M. Lawson and C. T. Vivian.
Stockton University (N.J.)
On September 16, the day before Constitution Day Bryan Stevenson will be at Stockton University to talk about racial justice and the Constitution. His memoir, Just Mercy, follows the story of Stevenson as a young lawyer fighting for the rights wrongly condemned prisoners. For more information on Stevenson click here.
Western Carolina University (N.C.)
WCU is hosting a panel, “The Constitution in Everyday Life,” which will highlight constitutional issues in our daily lives.
University of Central Missouri
They are celebrating Constitution Day all week long with events including a voter registration drive, exhibitions by the nationally ranked and award winning debate and mock trial teams, a republican primary debate watch party with following discussion, and a lecture from Dr. Schocket, Director of American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University.
East Stroudsburg University (Pa.)
East Stroudsburg will be holding a panel discussion on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and its recent changes.
Emporia State University (Kan.)
ESU will be holding a series of mini-teach sessions on September 15, 2015 where middle school and high school students as invited guests. Using ESU students as “facilitators/teachers” along with ESU faculty, we expect all will learn from the experience. This capitalizes on the notion that teaching something is a powerful learning tool.
Western Illinois University
They will be holding a panel discussion on the 9th amendment along with a student poster session.
College at Brockport (N.Y.)
They held a naturalization ceremony on campus and providing voter education and registration sessions. Learn more here.
Fort Hays State University (Kan.)
They will be passing out Constitution Day t-shirts, pocket Constitutions, and have a board with the 10 Bill of Rights and allow students to write their favorite Bill of Right on a button.
Keene State College (N.H.)
Keene will provide students with a change to register to vote, play the documentary “Not for Ourselves Alone,” and hold a performance, “Susan B Anthony—The Invincible.”
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
They will be holding panel program on what the Constitution means to me and democracy dialogue chalk boards on campus with question about democracy.
Indiana State University
They will be holding a discussion of the Constitution and student analysis of whether the constitution needs to be amended to reflect modern times/sentiments.
University of Northern Iowa
They are hosting a panel on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights act with three faculty members and Iowa’s Secretary of State.
Northeastern Illinois University
They will have a table in Village Square with polling and give away items.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
They will host a public event entitled Counter-Stories: Protecting Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Wartime, featuring Mark Graber, Jacob A. France Professor of Constitutionalism at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law. They will also feature Constitution Day-related links and stories on social media
Clayton University State (Ga.)
Clayton will be holding a Times Talk on a religious freedom bill that will be facilitated by two state legislators.
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
During Constitution Week ADP is having students, faculty and community members volunteer to go into local elementary schools and read a book about the Constitution to fourth and fifth grade students. They will also have a Constitution-themed quiz bowl competition. The campus bell will ring on constitution day for an extended amount of time at a determined time.
Minot State University (N.D.)
MSU will be holding a Free Speech Plaza, an open discussion forum on campus.
Towson University (Md.)
They will be tabling in the student union, holding Constitution trivia and voter registration, and will have Constitution giveaways.
Illinois State University
They are hosting a screening of segments of “Eyes on the Prize”, the seminal documentary about the civil rights movement. A faculty member from sociology will facilitate a discussion following the screening. The segments they are screening focus on voting rights, and this issue was chosen this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
St. Cloud State University (Minn.)
They will be holding a trivia day in the campus map area and fall social at Stearns History Museum.
Missouri State University
They have plans for the whole week to celebrate Constitution Day including hosting the Western District of Missouri’s Naturalization Ceremony. Other events include special speakers, advocacy training, voter registration, distributing pocket constitutions, Carillon Bells patriotic performance, and a social media campaign on democracy and constitutional facts. The annual Conference on Civic Engagement is held on Constitution Day and focused this year on Opportunity and Democracy in an Age of Inequality. AASCU’s George Mehaffy, founder of ADP, will keynote.