North Texas Daily

Constitution Day celebration moves to Willis Library

Constitution Day celebration moves to Willis Library

Constitution Day celebration moves to Willis Library
September 16
07:31 2013

Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

Students can enjoy free cookies, trivia and pocket constitutions during UNT’s Constitution Day celebration Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Willis Library forum.

The holiday celebrates the anniversary of the U.S. Constitution being signed in 1787. Officially established in 2004, public schools and government agencies are required to educate the public about the Constitution and its history every year, according to the U.S. Senate website.

“We are required by federal law [to hold Constitution Day] for all higher education institutions that receive federal money,” said associate political science professor Kimi King, who helped to organize the event. “The idea is that the Constitution is too important to not give it one day a year to focus in on the freedoms, rights and responsibilities of our federal government.”

Previously, the University Union hosted the event, but with the building undergoing a lengthy renovation, librarian Julie Leuzinger volunteered Willis Library as a host space.

As a second-generation American, Leuzinger said holidays celebrating the country’s founding are important to her.

“They don’t particularly talk too much [about it] in high school history, but the Founding Fathers were essentially signing their own death warrant,” she said. “I want our students to understand how important the U.S. Constitution is.”

The department head of UNT Libraries, Julie Leuzinger hands library specialist Jennifer Cochran a pocket constitution. 500 pocket constitutions were handed out to students in front of Wooten Hall and Willis Library on Sept. 10. - Photo by Kelsey Littlefield / Intern

Assistant director of career and development services Amy Simon, who also helped organize the event, said moving to the library should also improve attendance.

“The change in location will be a way to reach more students who may not have seen us in the past,” she said.

The U.S. Constitution is the oldest active constitution in the world, and King said students should learn more about it because of its age and worldwide influence.

“Over half of the world’s constitutions were written after 1970. That we have survived with the document largely intact is amazing,” she said. “You can revile, revere it, reject it, but everyone should read it. It is an amazing document that still generates debate about what government is and should be.”

In addition to Willis Library, organizers will hand out pocket constitutions in front of Wooten Hall starting at 9:30 a.m.

Feature photo by Kelsey Littlefield / Intern 

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