MTSU’s 2018 Constitution Week is focusing on educating students, faculty, staff and the community about their civic duty in this election year: exercising their right to vote.
The university’s annual observance of Constitution Day is set Monday, Sept. 17, when students, faculty, staff and visitors mark the 231st anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution by reading the historic document at multiple sites across MTSU throughout the day.
WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 also will broadcast a day of special programming celebrating the U.S. Constitution through contemporary song, hosted by College of Media and Entertainment dean Ken Paulson and WMOT students.
Voter registration tables will be set up on campus throughout the week to help citizens prepare for the Nov. 6 federal and state midterm elections. The American Association of University Women will register voters by the Student Union on Monday, followed by the League of Women Voters of Murfreesboro/Rutherford County on Wednesday, Sept. 19, and the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office on Friday, Sept. 21.
Voter registration also will be available at the James E. Walker Library on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
Early voting runs Oct. 17 through Nov. 1 in Tennessee.
“Revisiting the Constitution should be the wake-up call every single one of us needs to be reminded that ‘We the People’ are our nation’s deciders,” said Dr. Mary A. Evins, an associate research professor in MTSU’s University Honors College and coordinator for MTSU’s chapter of the American Democracy Project.
“Democracy is everyone’s personal responsibility. The government we get is the outcome of each’s citizen’s action — and inaction.”
The Constitution Week 2018 efforts are continuing MTSU’s popular “True Blue Voter Initiative” partnership with the Rutherford County Election Commission. The new project, which launched this summer and will continue at least through the November election, has already added hundreds of new voters to the rolls by answering their voting questions and personalizing their registration process during CUSTOMS sessions and other special campus events.
New voters also can register during regular business hours through Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the following MTSU locations:
• American Democracy Project headquarters, Room 221, Paul W. Martin Honors Building.
• Albert Gore Research Center, Room 128, Todd Hall.
• Center for Educational Media, Room 101S, McWherter Learning Resources Center.
• John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies office, Room 238, Bragg Media and Entertainment Building..
• James E. Walker Library atrium.
MTSU also will present a free public screening of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, the documentary examining the life and legacy of PBS children’s TV host Fred Rogers, on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 5 p.m. in Room 106 of the Honors Building.
This year’s Constitution Week itinerary continues the university’s series of special speakers and events that have enlightened the MTSU community since 2005. Guests have included:
• a group of respected Tennessee judges and attorneys who discussed the constitutional role of an independent judiciary.
• civil rights activist and Nashville sit-in organizer and participant Diane Nash.
• the Revs. C.T. Vivian and James Lawson Jr., civil rights activists who spoke on the Voting Rights Act.
• longtime Iowa congressman James A. Leach, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
• National Public Radio legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.
• a unique on-campus session, via the Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students program, of the Tennessee Supreme Court to hear three appellate cases.
• a special U.S. naturalization ceremony for 300 people taking the oath of citizenship inside MTSU’s Murphy Center.
For more information about the American Democracy Project at MTSU, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mtsu.edu/amerdem. For information about the True Blue Voter Initiative, including links to voter eligibility details, visit http://mtsu.edu/TrueBlueVoter.
— Gina E. Fann (email@example.com)