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UNG to mark U.S. Constitution's anniversary

The U.S. Constitution celebrated its 230th anniversary on Sept. 17. To mark the occasion, Dr. Bonita Jacobs, president of UNG, proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week.

"President John Adams said we have 'a government of laws, and not of men,'" said Dr. Douglas Young, a professor of political science at the University of North Georgia (UNG). "The United States has a tradition that no one is above the law."

Those laws begin with the U.S. Constitution, which celebrated its 230th anniversary on Sept. 17. To mark the occasion, Dr. Bonita Jacobs, president of UNG, proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week.

"I … ask our faculty, staff, and students to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787," Jacobs wrote in a recent proclamation.

Following her lead, a few UNG student organizations have hosted events spotlighting the Constitution.

On the Dahlonega Campus, the American Democracy Project (ADP) and Political Science Student Association co-sponsored a Constitution Day Crossfire at noon Sept. 20 in Young Hall. The discussion topic was Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The ADP is a multi-campus initiative focused on higher education's role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for the democracy. ADP's goal is to produce graduates who are committed to being active, involved citizens in their communities.

On the Oconee Campus, ADP hosted an event from noon to 12:50 p.m. Sept. 18 in the multipurpose room in the Student Resource Center. The event featured Tom Krause, chief of staff for state Sen. Bill Cowsert and Donavan Eason, general counsel for Cowsert. They delivered a presentation on the Constitution and its impact on Georgia today.

On the Gainesville Campus, the History Club handed out mini versions of the Constitution and Pledge of Allegiance bookmarks from noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 18 near the stage in the Student Center. The club partnered with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) for the resources.

On Sept. 20, the History Club also had its weekly meeting from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 20 in Strickland 138 and played Constitution Week Jeopardy with prizes for the winners.

The Politically Incorrect Club on the Gainesville Campus handed out U.S. Constitution booklets to students with George Washington on the cover. The brochures not only contain the Constitution, but have the American Declaration of Independence and many quotes from various Founding Fathers. The club also distributed voter registration forms.

Young, the adviser of the Politically Incorrect Club, said the nonpartisan, student-run organization usually marks the Constitution's anniversary with a debate. Last year, the club co-sponsored presentations on campus by state Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gillsville, and state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville.

Young also said the club has debated issues ranging from legalizing marijuana to immigration.

"A few years ago, we took turns of reading passages of the Constitution in the lobby of the Nesbitt Building," he said.

Young said it is important for college students to become familiar with the Constitution and guaranteed individual rights as well as the different interpretations of the historic document.

"The U.S. Constitution is the secular Bible of this Republic," he said. "Everything our government does has to be in line within the dictates of the U.S. Constitution."

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