All FIRE supporters can promote individual rights this month by celebrating the document that codified our basic rights as Americans: the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Congress established September 17 as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” in 2004 to “commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.” Add this special day to your calendar by joining FIRE’s Constitution Day event on Facebook.
Over the past few years, college students have embraced Constitution Day as an opportunity to remind fellow students about their rights on campus. Liberty-minded student groups host creative and attention-grabbing Constitution Day events to kick off the new school year. You can catch 2010 FIRE intern Nico Perrino with his group’s “guerrilla gorilla” here, or read about Florida Atlantic University’s “food for freedom” exchange here.
No gorilla suit? No problem. Here are a few other ways you can celebrate:
- Set up an open microphone or soapbox in a public place for people to use throughout the day. Have group members use it to read the Constitution and passages of “banned books” aloud. Sing “Happy Birthday” to the Constitution.
- Stage a debate about an issue that you think doesn’t get enough attention on campus. Or stage one between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, using arguments from period writings like the Federalist Papers. (This is a great excuse for period costume!)
- Build a temporary “free speech wall” out of cardboard or plywood covered in paper and provide markers for students to exercise their right to anonymous speech on campus.
- Host a trivia event to find out what students really know about the Constitution and the First Amendment. Extra points for naming all five rights in the First Amendment!
- Hand out pocket Constitutions, or candy with articles, sections, or amendments to the Constitution attached. Everybody likes free stuff, especially free food.
Have fun, be creative, and send in pictures and videos of your events to post on our Facebook page and the CFN website (thecfn.org). CFN members can also earn points for the CFN Incentive Program, with prizes including a $2,500 scholarship and a prize pack with a new Apple laptop, Flip camera, iPod Touch, and a 42″ HDTV.