Observing Constitution Day at Tarleton


The JTAC Brittainie Cason

The flags in front of Tarleton State University located off of West Washington Street.

On Sept. 17, Tarleton State University will celebrate Constitution Day. All day Tarleton will be providing educational material to help students understand the importance of Constitution Day and encourage students to stay informed about U.S. history.

Due to COVID-19 the Constitution Day celebration will be primarily on social media, but you can still find the celebration on campus. The Dick Smith Library will have a display set up for students explaining what Constitution Day is and they will also provide educational materials.

Constitution Day is the annual celebration centered around the signing of The U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787. After the U.S. declared independence from Great Britain in 1776, the founding fathers knew that if they did not establish a strong framework for the U.S., the country would crumble. The Constitution was that framework, and after being revised in 1789, it became the constitution we know today.

It is important to celebrate Constitution Day because it is the written document that gave us the rights we have today. This is one of the reasons that in 1952 the U.S. Government declared that Constitution Day would also be Citizenship Day.

Citizenship day is the celebration of people who are U.S. citizens or have become U.S. citizens by either coming of age, which means that your parents are citizens and when you turn 18 you will become a citizen as well, or through naturalization. On Citizenship day, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants citizenship to thousands of immigrants. The USCIS also encourages U.S. citizens to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Constitution Day is an incredibly important national holiday. The Executive Director of Development & Outreach Darrell Brown expressed that it is important to appreciate our history, through the celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

“It should be a day that each of us should set aside time to appreciate history and even become more familiar with this document that is our foundation of life,” Brown said.

Tarleton President, Dr. James Hurley, also expressed the importance of Constitution Day through an Instagram direct message.

“I celebrate Constitution Day because, it signifies the greatest and most influential document creation in the history of the world. We are blessed to live in the greatest country with the freedoms protected by the Constitution of the United States,” Hurley said.

The U.S. Constitution has given us many reasons to celebrate, some that we often overlook. All of our basic human rights, most we couldn’t imagine our life without today, are granted to us by our Constitution, such as:
1. The right to vote at the age of 18
2. The freedom of religion
3. Freedom of speech
4. Right to own a firearm
5. Right to assembly and protest

These are only a few of the many rights and freedoms the U.S. Constitution grants us. The U.S. census is also mentioned for the first time in The Constitution, stating that

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States… according to their respective numbers.”

The U.S. Constitution is not only a history lesson but a philosophical lesson as well. Dr. Karl Aho, a philosophy professor here at Tarleton, discusses how The Constitution was heavily influenced by social contract theory.

“The U.S. Constitution realizes the philosophy of social contract theorists like John Locke, not only in supporting our rights to life and liberty, but also in its distribution of governmental powers to separate institutions,” Aho said.

Without the Constitution, the world we live in would be a very different place. That is why Tarleton will celebrate Constitution Day on Sept. 17.

To celebrate Constitution Day, Tarleton Student Affairs will be actively posting on social media and presenting educational information on campus.

“Tarleton will be providing free educational material concerning the Constitution along with the Dick Smith Library who will have a display to showcase information,” said Brown.

Brown also mentions to be on the lookout for that material. It is first come first serve with a limited amount available.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen. Understanding how the U.S. Constitution changed our lives is an important part of being a U.S. citizen.

If you have any more questions relating to Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, you can follow Tarleton Student Affairs on Instagram and Twitter @Tarletonstudent or you can follow “Tarleton Activity Board” on Facebook. Student Affairs will be posting frequently before and during Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to keep students up to date.