American Democracy Project to host Constitution Week festivities
By: Mira Costello
In celebration of Constitution Day, an annual federal observance on Sept. 17, the American Democracy Project at IU South Bend will host a tent and share information about the U.S. Constitution. Since the event falls on a Saturday this year, the ADP will instead hold Constitution Week from Sept. 12 to Sept. 16.
According to sophomore James Schultz, an ADP fellow and coordinator of the Vote 411 Online Voter Guide, colleges receiving federal funds must observe Constitution Day in an effort to educate students about the Constitution.
“Constitution Day is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens,” Schultz said. “It is normally observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia.”
During Constitution Week, Schultz said the ADP will host a tent in the campus quad with music, popcorn and nachos, where they will hand out pocket Constitutions and help new voters register before this year’s midterm election.
“Each year, ADP carries a similar message of increasing civic engagement among students on our campus. We are hopeful that with more students being on campus this semester, our efforts will result in more involvement and enthusiasm among students,” Schultz added. “I’m looking forward to a great week of discussing what the Constitution means to this country and getting students registered to vote. Constitution Week is intended to help unite our campus behind a common good.”
Outside of Constitution Week, the ADP is highly active on campus and in the community. According to Schultz, they will host voter registration booths across campus as well as classroom visits to encourage voting on Sept. 20, Oct. 3-7, and Oct. 10-11. They will also host a U.S. Senate Debate watch party via Discord on Oct. 16, as well as two “Party to the Polls” events complete with t-shirts and pizza on early voting day (Oct. 28) and election day (Nov. 8).
“We’ll have a special, branded IU South Bend voter registration portal this year that also lets students pledge to vote and sign up for text or email reminders,” Schultz said. “The portal will also provide easy links to the election information students need. We hope everybody will take advantage of this special portal.”
To get involved with the ADP as a member or volunteer, students can sign up at events, request membership via Titan Atlas, or email faculty adviser Dr. Elizabeth Bennion at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ADP at IU South Bend can also be found at facebook.com/iusbadp and on Twitter at twitter.com/adpiusb.