University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Constitution Day program is Sept. 17

In celebration of Constitution Day at the University of North Dakota, there will be a program Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Lecture Bowl, Memorial Union.  Punch and cake will be provided in the Fireside Lounge following the program.

This Constitution Day celebration is sponsored by the UND Dean of Students Office, Multicultural Student Services, College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines, and the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Veterans Upward Bound, the UND Army & Air Force ROTC and UND Student Government.

For more event information, please contact Malika Carter at 777.4362.

Most Americans know that July 4 is our nation's birthday. Surveys show that far fewer know that Sept. 17 is the birthday of our system of government, the date in 1787 on which 39 of the 55 original delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completed and signed the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution embodies principles which inform our system of government and our relationship to it, including a commitment to the rule of law, the separation of powers and checks and balances among the three branches of government, federalism that marks the distinctive and cooperative authority of the federal government and the states, and the ideals of liberty, equality, and justice that undergird individual civil rights and liberties.

In 2004, federal law designated every Sept. 17 as Constitution Day. Any educational institution which receives federal funds is mandated to celebrate Constitution Day by offering an educational program on or around the holiday.  Constitution Day encourages Americans to remember the significance of the Constitution in establishing our system of government, securing our individual civil rights and liberties, and providing the means to keep government accountable to the people in times of war and peace.

For more information on Constitution Day and the U.S. Constitution, please visit the Constitution Day Website, National Constitution Center, at http://www.constitutionday.us/.  See also Office of Innovation and Improvement, Dep’t of Education, “Notice of Implementation of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17 of Each Year,” at http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2005-2/052405b.html, and Office of Personnel Management, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, “Constitution Initiative,” at https://www.opm.gov/constitution_initiative/ (“making available to all Federal agencies, information to help train and educate Federal employees on the Constitution and, in particular, its relationship to the Oath of Office Federal employees take”).  There are also New York Times resources at http://www.nytimes.com/ref/college/collegespecial2/coll-constitutionday-resources.html.

– Malika Carter, Multicultural Student Services.