Quincy University holds presentation for Constitution Day

Assistant Professor Padriac Rohan sitting on the edge of the stage and conversing with the audience in MacHugh Theater.

On Sep 18, Quincy University commemorated Constitution Day. The historical holiday Constitution Day, or alternatively called Citizenship Day, is the day dedicated to the signing of the Constitution. Assistant Professor Padraic Rohan held a presentation in MacHugh Theater where he discussed the influences of the Constitution and how different groups interpret the meaning of democracy.

The presentation covered the definition of democracy and how each side of the political spectrum interprets that definition. Rohan also covered how the Greek and Roman history had an influence on the creation of the Constitution. Then, Rohan encouraged his audience to discuss, in groups, what they think democracy means and what system America is currently operating in.

Professor Rohan conversing the audience from the front edge of the stage at MacHugh Theater.
Assistant Professor Rohan conversing with a member of the audience while waiting to begin his presentation. (Wes Shelor/QU Media)

“1776 is, of course, a very important date, but today we commemorate 1787 and the years immediately after,” Rohan said.. “We were debating our Constitution, so our Constitution was an attempt to right the imbalances of the Articles of Confederation, which had held sway during the Revolutionary War. It’s an extremely important watershed moment.”

“This an opportunity for students and members of the community, as well as faculty and staff to come together and debate these issues. We are quite divided today in America, we can’t even decide whether the Constitution is pro–democracy or anti–democracy. Fleshing out those debates and making clear what the points of contention are should be a really educational opportunity for all involved,” Rohan said.

Students, staff, and faculty discussing the definition of democracy and the governing system of America in MacHugh Theater.
Students, staff, and faculty discussing with each other the definition of democracy and what system America functions in. (Wes Shelor/QU Media)

“What I learned personally, I said what I know about democracy is opinions or theories about our government and opinions and theories about Republicans and Democrats,” Voneil Williams, freshman, said.

“I think just having the opportunity to take time out of your day and think and talk about issues such as the Constitution and our government is just an amazing opportunity to have,” Sarah Vordtriede–Patton, provost and vice–president of academic affairs, said. “The presentation helped solidify our commitment to investigating questions like this.”

Students, faculty and staff walked away from MacHugh Theater with a more open mind to the meaning of democracy and how other people interpret it differently.

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