Happy Constitution Day!

September 16, 2016

At FIRE, every day is Constitution Day. But each September, we officially celebrate the anniversary of the day the United States Constitution was signed and adopted in Philadelphia.

Wondering how you can join the celebration? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Read About Your Rights.

Freedom of speech is just the beginning! Can you list all ten provisions of the Bill of Rights? Try taking one of these fun quizzes to test your knowledge:

Distribute Free Copies of the Constitution.

If you haven’t already requested FIRE pocket Constitutions, just fill out this online form and tell us how many copies you need and how you plan to use them on your campus. If you’ve gotten yours already, check out FIRE’s tips for what to do with them on your campus.

Campaign For Your Favorite Political Candidate.

Too often, college administrators shut down student political speech because IRS regulations require the school to remain politically neutral. But your speech isn’t the school’s speech. As explained in FIRE’s Policy Statement on Political Speech, expressing your own partisan political view will not jeopardize a college or university’s tax-exempt status with the IRS. If an administrator tries to stop you from campaigning, contact FIRE immediately.

Screen Can We Take a Joke?

Featuring a cast of famous comedians, including Gilbert Gottfried and Lisa Lampanelli, this documentary delves into today’s outrage culture and its impact on comedy. The movie is available on demand.

Invite a Speaker.

Constitution Day is a great occasion to plan an event on campus and exercise your freedom of speech. You could invite someone to speak on a topic you care deeply about; host a debate to learn from different perspectives on a particular issue; or invite a FIRE staffer to focus directly on free speech and due process issues at your campus.

Check your Campus’ Free Speech Rating.

Public universities are required to protect the First Amendment rights guaranteed to you by the Constitution. FIRE holds private universities responsible for their promises of free speech and academic freedom too. Check out your school’s policies on free speech here in FIRE’s Spotlight database. Don’t have a “green light?” A great way to take this on is by working with your administrators to improve your school’s policies and writing an op-ed to promote awareness of speech codes on your campus.

Join the FIRE Student Network (FSN).

FSN is a coalition that brings together college students and faculty who care about protecting civil liberties on campus. By joining FSN, you’ll receive email updates with invitations to FIRE events; information about opportunities such as our FIRE internships; tips for activism; and alerts on what’s going on your campus, in your state, and nationally. FSN members are the first to know about ways to defend student rights on their campuses and beyond.

We hope these FIRE resources get you excited to celebrate the civil liberties we all enjoy!