Published on September 23rd, 2022 | by University Communications0
Constitution Day event sparks respectful conversations on controversial topics
More than 100 students, faculty, staff, and administration attended this year’s Constitution Day event on September 15 for a panel discussion The Constitutionality of Life.
The event has been organized in observance of Constitution Day, which follows on Saturday, September 17, and which marks the day in 1787 when founding fathers, meeting in Philadelphia, signed the U.S. Constitution to establish America’s framework for governing.
An interdisciplinary panel featuring Dr. Steve Okey from theology, Christina Cazanave from social work, Dr. Laura Altfeld representing biology, and Dr. Joseph Cillo representing criminal justice discussed this year’s theme. Topics covered included abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia. After brief opening remarks from each of the panelists, attendees led the discussion by asking our faculty experts questions.
“Students were engaged for the entire event,” said Frank Orlando, political science instructor and one of the event’s organizers. “From 6 to 7 p.m., students were able to learn more about these issues at tables staffed by students from Pi Sigma Alpha [national political science honor society] and Phi Alpha Theta [history honor society], and how these issues are viewed in other countries from Dr. Marco Rimanelli, professor of political science. They were able to take quizzes on the Constitution, take pictures at the Constitution Day photo booth, learn more about new degree programs in veteran studies and international studies, grab a slice of pizza, and perhaps most importantly, register to vote with help from the Social Work Club.”
The main event inside an overflowing TECO Hall lasted from 7 to almost 8:30. “As the moderator, I had to cut off questions, but we could have kept going all night,” Orlando said.
“The next day in class, my students who attended the event wanted to dive even more deeply into the arguments presented by faculty. They were impressed at the fact that this discourse on a controversial topic could be handled with the mutual respect and intellectual sophistication that these issues require.”