Constitution Day brings out the best of Augusta University

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Maggie Cluney looks on as Kinah Bartido, both freshmen at Augusta University, chalks the sidewalk celebrating Constitution Day on campus. (Photo: Zhenya Townley)

 

By Zhenya Townley | online + design editor

Augusta University held multiple events at the Summerville campus on Sept. 18 to celebrate Pre-Law Day 2017 on Constitution Day.

The Pre-Law Day 2017 program was hosted and sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Career Services, and the Reese Library.

During the program, there were scheduled sessions between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. that showcased Georgia and South Carolina law schools, debates on the Constitution, chalking of the sidewalks and a live reading of the Bill of Rights at the Teardrop, a free speech zone on campus.

Regional law schools included Georgia State University College of Law, John Marshall Law School, Mercer Law School, Charleston Law School, University of Georgia Law and University of South Carolina School of Law. Representatives from those law schools presented information on meeting LSAT requirements, applying for law schools, and finding merit-based scholarships.

Students also had the chance to chat one-on-one with practicing attorneys as well as take part in a panel discussion on ideas like “Originalism vs. Living Constitutionalism.”

Dr. Gregory Murray, chair of the Political Science Department coordinated the event along with Reese Library. “Students learned a lot from the experience,” Murray said. “This event helped students decide whether or not law school was for them.” With over one hundred students attending throughout the day, Pre-Law Day again served the student body successfully.

In addition, an attorney practitioner panel and Q&A were held in the Jaguar Student Activities Center ballroom, along with a free LSAT practice test session in University Hall provided by the Princeton Review.

Inside the JSAC Breezeway from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., there were feedback tables and booths for the Reese Library, the CREW, the Student Government Association (SGA), the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, and the League of Women Voters.

Outside near the Teardrop, members of the AU Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) helped gather students passing by and encouraged them to use chalk to practice their right of free speech. The surrounding sidewalks were filled with colorful writings depicting favorite amendments, free ideas, and pictures. There was a live reading of the Bill of Rights as well.

Students like Sarah Thomas, a sophomore English major, came to the event for the purpose to express herself by using chalk. Another sophomore, Bailey Wood, wrote the 19th Amendment down, which gave women the right to vote.

“It is important to me to know that in the past century women have gone from not being able to vote to being in Congress,” Wood said. “It [the 19th Amendment] is a great step towards equal rights for everybody.”

Dr. David Bulla, a communication professor and sponsor of SPJ, was on hand to help pass out copies of the Constitution as well as ask students what they knew about their First Amendment rights.

According to a recent survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, over a third of those who were polled cannot recite any of the rights protected by the First Amendment.

Jamie Sapp contributed to the story.

Contact Zhenya Townley at ztownley@augusta.edu.

Contact Jamie Sapp at jsapp270@augusta.edu.

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