Program highlights importance of U.S. Constitution

Brittany Westerberg

Brittany Westerberg

The University Program Council and the Political Science Department have put together a program to help SDSU celebrate the 220th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

On Sept. 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their last meeting in Philadelphia, Penn., and the only item on the agenda for that day was to sign the Constitution of the United States of America. Out of the 55 delegates, 39 signed, and thus the U.S. Constitution became part of history.

This year’s observance of the 220th year since the signing of the U.S. Constitution will feature videos with themes relating to the U.S. Constitution, a signing of the U.S. Constitution and a reading of the U.S. Bill of Rights by several members of the student body, said Robert Burns, Dean of SDSU’s Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Political Science.

“Students should come to enjoy a unique experience,” said Nick Wendell, program advisor for University Programs, “and an opportunity to take part in commemorating a special event in the history of our country.”

According to Burns, the U.S. Congress mandated that a day of observance take place on all public and private college and university campuses as a condition of receiving federal funds, including student grant and loan funding. However, each institution gets to determine the actual type of observance they will have.

For the last three years, SDSU has held an event to commemorate Constitution Day, which is officially Sept. 17. Last year, an hour-long video focusing on the U.S.A. Patriot Act versus individual liberties was shown and was followed up with a student panel discussion.

On Monday, Sept. 17, a video presentation will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Main Street in The Union. During that time, a signing of a giant replica of the U.S. Constitution will be held until 3 p.m. A live reading of the Bill of Rights will follow the signing.

“The events will provide all of us reason to pause and reflect on the importance of this instrument of government that was intended to endure for all time,” Burns said.