Citizens gather for political discussion on Constitution day
On Friday, September 17, Quincy University held a Constitution Day celebration to commemorate the creation and signing of the U.S Constitution back on September 17, 1787. The celebration recognizes all who have become citizens. The Political Science and Criminal Justice departments sponsored this year’s Town Hall Forum.
Constitution Day is a federally mandated holiday that has been around for 234 years. In order for a federally funded school to get things like student loans, the school must host Constitution Day as a reminder to students of the signing. Neil Wright, associate professor of political science both organized and assisted in running the event.
“I am a citizen and I like giving my students opportunities to feel like a citizen and practice the arts of citizenship. So that is why I think it’s worthwhile. What I want everyone to do is to consider the tension between our individual rights and the powers of the government to protect the community. It’s not an easy conflict to resolve so I really hope we can think critically about it,” said Wright.
A new question is posed every year at the gathering. This year’s questions came directly from the greatest thing consuming today’s society.
Should vaccines be federally mandated?
Students, faculty, staff, and any public citizen that wished to join in on the conversation gathered outside of Francis Hall in the open field at 1:30 on Friday afternoon. A request to stay open-minded and listen to other’s perspectives was requested and then the conversation commenced.
“I personally believe it is a very personal decision. What you choose to do with your healthcare is your decision. I don’t think it’s the government’s job to really mandate something like that. It’s all up to the person themselves,” Evan Davis said.
Davis was one of several students in attendance who felt strongly that the question posed was a choice completely up to the individual.
The event encouraged students to speak their opinions and let their voices be heard but it also pushed students to listen to other opinions and thoughts of their peers. In this controlled environment, students got the opportunity to freely interact with opposing perspectives.
“What I think is most important for everyone to get out of today is for people of different opinions to come together and just state their views, their opinions, and their beliefs in a respectful manner to give everyone an open platform for dialogue,” Davis said.
The forum brought many new perspectives to the light and allowed opposing viewpoints to see things in a different light. The political science and criminal justice departments created a safe space for all voices to be heard and interact.