Gateway Engages Students In Observing Constitution Day Sept. 17

Gateway Community and Technical College students, faculty and staff created a six-minute video to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. The video is being shown daily this week on big screens in student gathering areas at the colleges Edgewood and Boone campuses.

Our purpose was to engage students with the Constitution and encourage them to consider and discuss how the Constitution affects them in their daily lives, said Rob Deger, history professor and faculty coordinator of the project.

Deger offered students in his classes an opportunity to select the constitutional provision most meaningful to them and explain why in 30-second video segments. The resulting video, compiled by Gateway librarian Lauren Lintz, is a thoughtful and practical analysis of how the framers created a groundbreaking, yet enduring form of government.

Instead of conducting a single event to observe Constitution Day, we wanted to reach as many students as possible at times convenient for them, Lintz said. This project enabled us to do that.

Students chose to discuss a variety of Constitutional provisions. To me, the most important right would be the 15th Amendment, the right to vote, said student Wen Bo Zhuo. It gives you the power to declare your voice and to change or alter any of the other rights that are listed in the Constitution. Without that, anything could be taken away.

Students found the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote; the Bill of Rights, which ensured freedom of speech, religion and assembly and the right to bear arms, to be valuable; others praised the foresight of the framers.

I think Article V of the U.S. Constitution exhibits both brilliance and excellence, said student Jeremy Roetting. When the document was written, the founders provided a way for us to make amendments and a process to go about it. Essentially, they were saying that they didn't believe they were so good that changes and developments would not be needed in the future.

The public can view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBjJM10oJ68.