Constitution Day set for Sept. 15
FGCU Constitution Day will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Cohen Center Ballroom.
Sept. 17, previously known as Citizenship Day, has been recognized as Constitution Day since 2004. This is due to the fact that the U.S. Constitution was signed Sept. 17, 1787. In 2005, it became required by law that all universities and public schools provide education on the Constitution in order to receive funding.
“For the last three years, FGCU has fulfilled this directive with an event called “Conversations on the Constitution,” said Joseph Ross, the campus director of Academic Democracy Project.
This year, the event will happen two days before Constitution Day due to schedule conflicts. The event will be organized by the Academic Democracy Project on campus. Ross said he invited two guest speakers to the event, who will share information on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution for the FGCU Constitution Day.“In addition to three political science students, I am pleased to be joined by two other faculty at the event: Dr. Frances Davey —history, and Dr. Mohamad Al-Hakim — philosophy,” Ross said.
The event will also allow student speakers to share their viewpoints, and the floor will be opened at the end of the panel discussion for the audience to chime in with any questions or thoughts.Some of the topics that will be open for discussion at the event are government speech, Confederate flags, a Supreme Court case on license plates as well as controversy surrounding the South Carolina capital flag.
Ross explained he usually chooses fairly controversial issues to show that it is possible to have a reasoned, civil discussion about such topics without resorting to the name-calling and attacks we are used to seeing on TV. FGCU Constitution Day is intended to be an educational event that will allow students to express their thoughts surrounding recent political matters as well as provide information on the Constitution. It is an open event that all students are allowed to attend, not just students whose majors pertain to it.
“I feel as though talking about the Confederate flag could stir up quite a bit of opinions,” said Robert Herrin, a member of the FGCU eSports RSO.
Herrin has never attended this event, but said he will attend this year just to hear the possible thought processes that students and faculty could possess.
There is no fee or dress code requirement for those wanting to come to the event.
“I encourage all students to come to the event at 5:30 p.m. with questions they have about this issue and an open mind,” Ross said.