University hosts Constitution Day signing ceremony

September 18 2006

Alongside the names of George Washington, Ben Franklin and other founding fathers, a copy of the U.S. Constitution on display at Indiana State University also bears the names of some campus and community leaders.

ISU's American Democracy Project and Student Government Association sponsored a Constitution Day signing ceremony Monday as part of a campaign to promote greater civic involvement among students.

Terre Haute Mayor Kevin Burke joined ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III and A.J. Patton, president of the Student Government Association, as the first three people to sign the copy.

"We spend far too much time finding fault with our type of government instead of recognizing it and celebrating it. It is the best form of government that they've been able to come up with so far," said Burke.

With a voter registration drive underway on campus, Benjamin said the signing ceremony was more than symbolic.

"We try to be an engaged campus, and one of the real ways to demonstrate engagement is (to) get people out to vote. We're trying to get students registered. We're trying to get good political discussion under way and get people to the polls. We think that's important," Benjamin said.

"The American Democracy Project is really special to Indiana State. It is important that we get involved and take responsibility for our civic duties," added Patton.

The copy of the Constitution will remain on display intermittently at Hulman Memorial Student Union through Sept. 26 when the American Democracy Project will celebrate free speech with a reading of banned books. A series of "Pizza and Politics" events to educate students on the issues is also planned in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 7 mid-term elections.

The American Democracy Project is an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities aimed at increasing civic engagement by college age citizens. Indiana State is among a handful of association members that piloted the project in 2003. It has since grown to include approximately 400 institutions nationwide.

Contact: Darlene Hantzis, coordinator, American Democracy Project, and associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2781 or dmhantzis@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

As part of a series of events leading up to the Nov. 7 mid-term elections, the American Democracy Project and ISU's Student Government Association invited campus and community members to sign a coply of the U.S. Constitution.

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