We the students
SGA honors Constitution Day
Audrey Dighans | copy editor
In observance of Constitution Day on Tuesday, Sept. 17, Student Government Association (SGA) sought to promote campus political awareness and education about students’ civil rights.
The central action of the event involved senators handing out pocket versions of the U.S. Constitution outside of the Gorilla Bookstore in Overman Student Center.
“Today is all about promoting legislative awareness,” said Bailey Peak, SGA academic affairs director and junior in elementary education.
Constitution Day was established as a federal observance in 2004 in tribute to the adoption of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 made it law for all civil and educational institutions of the U.S. to provide for education about the Constitution on Constitution Day.
“PSU receives Title IV funding and so SGA has to have an observance of Constitution Day,” said David Adams, assistant director for campus activities.
At noon, senators gathered in the Governors Room to take turns reading the foundational document aloud.
“SGA didn’t plan for the reading,” Peak said. “Ed (Stremel) is leading that event and we’re sort of co-participating by telling students about the event as they pass by.”
Stremel, a former student and senator in automotive technology, says not many showed up to the reading but he was not expecting a large crowd since the reading was indoors.
He had originally planned to hold the reading in the campus Oval, but the weather intervened.
“The Constitution is arguably the most important document in the world,” he said. “Ultimately, I hope to get students to think about what our role as the people is in maintaining our government as it should be and not letting our government become our master.”
Stremel added that he believes it is important that Americans strive to maintain the republic as the Constitution cannot enforce itself.
SGA says it was forced to downsize the attraction this year as they were not able to encourage students to register to vote.
In previous years, the voter registration drive has succeeded in getting dozens of students on the voter rolls.
“Most students don’t carry around their birth certificate with them,” said Sydney Lemos, sophomore in business. “So, we couldn’t do voter registration like last year, but we can still get the word out there about Constitution Day.”