For this year’s annual Constitution Day, Penn State students were given the chance to become active members in their country by registering to vote while learning more about the United States Constitution.
The event brought both student organizations and individuals out to encourage fellow students to recognize the day held every year on Sept. 17. Students were stationed in heavily-populated areas around campus to find peers who haven’t yet registered.
“We’ve talked to a number of people, and I’m surprised a lot of people are already registered, which is great. [Students are] definitely being diligent about it,” Justin Roth (sophomore-information sciences and technology) said.
Many activities found around campus were courtesy of University Park Undergraduate Association and the Office of Undergraduate Education. One major attraction that got a lot of attention was the “Writing Blocks” that were located outside of the HUB-Robeson Center, Pattee and Paterno Library and Palmer Museum of Art.
These “Writing Blocks” are large cubes with questions related to the Constitution next to each one. They were set up at 8 a.m. and made available for students to write their responses to the questions on the blocks until 3:30 p.m. By the end of the day, they were colorfully filled with a variety of opinions.
People are getting really excited about interacting and getting to write down their thoughts on the blocks, UPUA Chair of Governmental Affairs Rachel Franceschino (junior-political science and labor studies) said.
Franceschino also said she was pleasantly surprised with the popularity of the blocks, and people were even talking about them in their classes.
The “Writing Blocks” have been a big help in having students stop to see what Constitution Day is about, UPUA Chair of Student Life Justin Laskowski said.
“With this being the attracting factor, a lot more people have been coming by and actually [registering to vote],” Laskowski (junior-philosophy) said.
People have also been going to fraternity and sorority chapter meetings to make sure they’re registered to vote, Laskowski said.
For students who were unaware of what these blocks were for, UPUA representatives were able to tell them more about Constitution Day.
“We’re explaining that it’s Constitution Day and just a day to be able to get to know your rights and express your opinions on things,” Franceschino said.
Other student organizations that could be found on campus included Students for Barack Obama, which had members scattered around campus to hand out voter registration forms, and Young Americans for Freedom.
The Young Americans for Freedom organization had a tri-fold board set up outside of the HUB designed to quiz students on their knowledge of the Constitution.
“If they don’t know the answers, it’s a good way to learn a few more things about the Constitution. That’s one of our goals is also to educate, not just test people’s knowledge,” Chris Riccio (senior-accounting) said.
In addition to asking students if they’re registered to vote, UPUA representatives also made sure students who needed ID Expiration Date Stickers had them.
“We’ve been explaining to people as they’re registering, make sure if you’re out of state that you’re going to go get an ID sticker,” Franceschino said.
The Penn State ID+ expiration date stickers can be obtained in the HUB at the Penn State id+ Card Office.