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Jeffrey Maras or
Pamela Hammond McDavid

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UIS offers programs for Constitution Day

September 18, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield is sponsoring a weeklong series of events in observance of national Constitution Day, which honors the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. The events are free and open to the public.

Educational institutions that receive federal funds are mandated to hold programs related to the Constitution on or around September 17 each year. Remaining events at UIS include:

Related sites

UIS American Democracy Project
Constitution Day
American Association of State Colleges & Universities

Two brown bag discussions, on Tuesday, September 19, and Wednesday, September 20, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Public Affairs Center conference room E. Tuesday’s program will be "A Thin Democracy: Understanding the Differences between Platform and Issue Voting," led by Calvin Mouw, associate professor of Political Studies. Wednesday’s program will be "The Making of a Citizen: Personal Stories about the Rewards of Engagement," led by student Rene Rathjen.

A screening of the documentary "Waging a Living," at 7 p.m., Friday, September 22, in Brookens Auditorium, followed by a discussion session led by Deborah Anthony, assistant professor of Legal Studies.

A voter registration table will also be available each day from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the PAC concourse, near the bursar's office.

Constitution Day will also mark the beginning of UIS' participation in a nationwide non-partisan voter registration project taking place on over 70 college campuses.  Building on the historic turnout among young voter in the 2004 elections, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' project aims to register 40,000 new student voters nationwide.

"2004 proved that if you ask them, they will vote," said Jeffrey Maras, UIS associate dean of students. "Massive outreach efforts in 2004 resulted in young voter turnout increasing 11 percentage points -- more than four million additional young voters -- over 2000 levels." Maras added that at UIS, administrators and student coordinators will team up to register student voters in class, in residence halls, and at other locations across campus. 

The AASCU project is part of a larger, non-partisan effort to register 350,000 18-to-29-year-old voters nationwide in 2006. This effort is coordinated by Young Voter Strategies and funded by a $3 million grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

AASCU's American Democracy Project is a multi-campus initiative that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement. For more information, go to www.aascu.org.

Constitution Day was created by law in 2004. For more information, go to www.constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday/display/MainS/Home.

For more information about the program at UIS, contact Maras or Pam Hammond McDavid at 206-6584.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.