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IUSB hosts Constitution Day events

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Schools that receive federal funding are required by law to celebrate Constitution Day, but IU South Bend’s American Democracy Project says it’s an opportunity to reflect on the rights we’re afforded as Americans.

“People want to have free speech, but sometimes they don’t understand what that means,” said IU South Bend Professor Elizabeth Bennion. “People want to have the ability to assemble and to criticize the government. This is a really important tradition that we have. And we’re seeing people exercise that tradition. They need to know where it comes from so that they can fight to protect those rights.”

Constitution Day is September 17th of each year.

Back in 2005, federal lawmakers passed a law saying any education institution that receives money from the government needs to recognize the day in some way.

So this year, IU South Bend kicked things off by hosting a webinar on Monday about ‘government and politics in the age of Trump.’

On Tuesday, the university will host a Democracy Plaza and a ‘Lunch-n-Learn’ program that looks at the significance of the Constitution in modern day America.

Students who attend will receive, among other things, pocket-sized copies of the Constitution.

Bennion, who is the director of the university’s American Democracy Project, also said this of understanding the Constitution: “That doesn’t matter whether you’re a liberal, conservative, or describe yourself in some other way. All of us need to protect those rights to have our voices heard. And the way we can do that is educating people about our Constitution and the frameworks set up to give us those freedoms.”

The events on Tuesday kick off at 11 a.m.

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