More than 200 years after it was written, the Constitution still invokes spirited debate and dialogue about its true meaning and purpose. The Constitution is the foundation on which our rights and freedoms are based and could be considered one of the most important documents in world history. Plymouth State University is celebrating Constitution Day September 19, with speakers from various perspectives sharing their thoughts about the Constitution.
Mark J. Fischler, PSU assistant professor of criminal justice, organized this year’s Constitution Day at PSU and believes it’s a critical time for all Americans to think about this historic document.
“Most folks you come into daily contact with are unfamiliar with what is actually inside the document. We live in a time where individual rights as described in our ‘Bill of Rights’ are in serious friction with our government as it conducts our ‘War on Terror.’ Our government as a whole has a responsibility to delineate just what those rights mean. We have an opportunity to voice our rationale of what those rights mean creating a dialectic between the government and we the people,” Fischler said.
Constitution Day activities include a panel discussion in the HUB fireplace lounge, from Noon – 1 p.m. Marcia Schmidt Blaine, PSU history professor, will speak about the Constitution’s historical perspective; Michelle Fistek, PSU political science professor, addresses the constitutional relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government; Christopher Keating, executive director, N.H. Public Defenders Office, will talk about a practitioner’s perspective and Peter Laufenberg, PSU student body president, speaks about the meaning of the Constitution from a student perspective.
Additionally, at 6 p.m., there will be a debate/discussion between Mark Zuckerman, N.H. U.S. Attorneys Office and Barbara Keshen, lead attorney, N.H. chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The topic is, “Individual Rights in a Time of Terrorism and War.” This event takes place in the HUB Multipurpose room. The events are free and the public is welcome to attend.