Owens Observes Constitution Day

By Janelle Smith, News Editor

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Student government president James Ruane quizzes Josh Wilson over the Bill of Rights. Student Government organized a Consitution Day walk-up trivia game to test students knowledge of the constitution.

Photo by: Sean Ferry
Student government president James Ruane quizzes Josh Wilson over the Bill of Rights. Student Government organized a Consitution Day trivia game to test student knowledge of the constitution.

The U.S. Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787 and the first ten amendments are called the Bill of Rights. This document is the framework of our country and what gives us our freedoms.

Prior to 2004, we celebrated Citizenship Day every year on September 17. In 2004 a law was established replacing Citizenship Day with Constitution Day. Part of this law requires all federally funded schools produce an educational program about the constitution on this day. Here at Owens, our Student Government heads up this responsibility every year. This year the event was held in the Atrium of College Hall on September 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They handed out informational material and quizzed students on the constitution for prizes.

Taylor Vaught tries to recite the Fifth Amendment during Constitution Day activities. The student government table was run by (from left) Adren Burkes, Katherine Duncan, and James Ruane.

Photo by: Janelle Smith
Taylor Vaught tries to recite the Fifth Amendment during Constitution Day activities. The student government table was run by (from left) Adren Burkes, Katherine Duncan, and James Ruane.

Adren Burkes was running the table when we visited and when asked why Student Government was putting on this event he said, “We are required to do something for Constitution Day because we’re a state institution. Student Government has always done this so it’s kind of expected of us. James (Ruane), our current president of Student Government, is a political science major so he has an added interest in things like this.”

Ruane was also at the table when we visited. We asked Ruane if he would still have put on this event had it not been required.  “Yeah without a doubt,” he said. “One of our major problems right now is that students and citizens in general don’t know their civil rights. It’s important that people know their civil rights because without them we’re not Americans.” When asked what the constitution means to him, Ruane said, “It’s a couple of things. I served in the military so I have a different understanding of freedom and I say that the constitution in its self is a physical representation of our freedoms, of our liberties, of things that give us the qualities that have made America what it is today.”

After visiting this event we went out to interview students. We asked them three questions: What does the Constitution mean to you?; Can you name the five parts to the first amendment?; Can you name at least three of the first ten amendments? To see the responses, watch the campus pulse video.

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