Constitution Day sets voter registration record, engages students in democracy

September 19, 2007

University Park, Pa. -- More than 315 students became registered voters during Penn State's U.S. Constitution Day celebration Sept. 17 at University Park. Working with the University's Laboratory for Public Scholarship and Democracy, a voter registration drive was launched by student group Represent. The nonpartisan student group's effort set a one-day voter registration at the campus.

Constitution Day is a federally mandated recognition of the Constitution and a number of events were held on campus, including a public issues forum on immigration, a display of frequently banned or challenged books, an exhibit in front of the Palmer Museum of Art that invited students to express themselves by writing their thoughts on giant black cubes, and much more.

Thousands of students stopped throughout the day to listen and voice their opinions on issues surrounding the Constitution.

"Among the day's lessons, students found that information and education are vital elements of democracy and that democratic deliberation and participation can be practiced every day, not just during elections and special events," said Jeremy Cohen, associate vice president and senior associate dean for undergraduate education, and an organizer of the event.

The Laboratory for Public Scholarship and Democracy, which was founded by Cohen, is an initiative of the Office of Undergraduate Education and alread is looking ahead to next year's Constitution Day.

"The laboratory will provide several support grants on a competitive basis to faculty across the University to integrate Constitution Day 2008 into a spring or fall 2008 course," according to Mary Lou Zimmerman Munn, coordinator of the laboratory and co-director of Constitution Day activities.

More information is available from Zimmerman Munn at mzm10@psu.edu and at http://www.publicscholarship.psu.edu

(Media Contacts)

Jeremy Cohen

Work Phone: 
814-863-1864
Last Updated March 19, 2009