SHSU To Dedicate Two Days To Celebrating Constitution

Sam Houston State University will spend two days celebrating the document that established the United States government and secured the freedom of its people on Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 22-23).

The Constitution Day commemoration will include five lectures discussing various aspects of the law in Academic Building IV and the Lowman Student Center.

“Every time I read the Preamble that begins ‘We, the people’ I am forcefully reminded of the awesome responsibility we the people have to keep our Constitution alive and well,” said event coordinator Frank Fair, who is also a professor of philosophy. “There have been and continue to be threats to our Constitution both from within and from abroad, and we must be strong in opposing those threats.

“As far as Constitution Day itself is concerned, it provides us with an opportunity every year to celebrate in the words of a great president ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people,’” Fair said.

Wednesday’s lecture will feature Tracey Hayes, a Texas American Civil Liberties Union representative, discussing “Modern Censorship in the Post 9/11 World.”

A panel discussion, moderated by assistant professor of history Jeff Littlejohn, will follow the presentation, held at 4 p.m. in AB IV’s Olson Auditorium (Room 220), after which Hayes will also field questions from the audience.

Thursday’s programs will kick off at 9:30 a.m., with an opening ceremony that will include a reading of the Constitution’s Preamble in LSC Room 320, followed by political science professor John Domino’s discussion of “The Supreme Court as Cultural Tribunal.”

At 11 a.m., assistant professor of political science Melinda Kovacs will present an interactive session on the “Constitutional Rights at Universities,” and Littlejohn will discuss "Religious Liberty: Then and Now" from 12:30-1:50 p.m.

Criminal justice professor Mike Vaughn will round out the Constitution Day lectures at 2 p.m. with his presentation on "Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Evolving Standards of Decency in Recent U. S. Supreme Court Decisions."

All of Thursday’s speeches will be held in LSC Room 320.

Additionally, a free copy of the Oxford University Press "The United States Constitution: What It Says, What It Means: A Hip Pocket Guide" will be given to each person attending, while supplies last.

The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 17, which is Constitution Day, and Sept. 18, but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Ike.

The program is sponsored by SHSU’s American Democracy Project, the history and political science departments, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.


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SHSU Media Contacts: Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 16, 2008
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