9/11-themed Constitution Week kicks off Saturday

Cameron Koch

Constitution Week this year will revolve around 9/11, a topic relevant to nearly every American.

The theme, “The Tenth Anniversary of 9/11: Lessons Learned,” looks at how societal interpretations and views of the Constitution and our rights have changed since the terrorist attacks 10 years ago.

Constitution Week, which begins Saturday and lasts until Sept. 16, will have numerous discussions and events happening daily leading up to the Constitution’s 224th birthday bash Sept. 16 in front of Grise Hall.

The week will kick off with the “We Remember” event on South Lawn on Saturday before the WKU vs. Navy football game. During the event, participants can record what they were doing on 9/11 as well as make cards for deployed soldiers.

WKU Libraries will also be sponsoring and hosting events throughout the month, including a remembrance of 9/11 and an exhibit revolving around books banned in schools.

The Political Engagement Project, with help from the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility and numerous other campus groups, are sponsoring the event.

Saundra Ardrey, head of WKU’s political science department and PEP, said the Constitution is just as relevant today as it was when it was originally drafted in 1787.

“It contains all our rights and responsibilities,” Ardrey said.

Danville junior Noelle Johnson, a member of the ICSR, stressed how important understanding our government is, as well as the importance of students understanding United States history.

“We are going to run things once we graduate,” Johnson said. “We have the power to make change.

“Understanding where we come from is a big thing for me. I think a lot of college students need to understand that.”

Since 9/11, Americans have become more aware of their liberties and rights, Ardrey said. She added that Americans want to guarantee those rights, but at the same time want to prevent foreign attacks

One of the discussions — “Eroding Your Rights? Liberty and Security in an Age of Terrorism” — will revolve around this idea and will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at ICSR in the Garrett Conference Center.

According to the schedule of events, several other discussions will focus on the rights of Muslim Americans post-9/11 and how perception and prejudice have played a role in their daily lives. One video and the following discussion sponsored by the ICSR titled “Abraham’s Children” revolves around Muslim Americans in New York after the events of 9/11.

“It’s a really uplifting film,” Johnson said. “It really differs from what the media portrays Muslim people as — as angry.”

Johnson will also be participating in an event where she and other women on campus will learn how to wear a hijab, the headscarf worn by Muslim women.

Johnson hopes Constitution Week will show students how they can cause change within the country.

“Constitution Week, with all the events we do, is a great way to empower all the students, to show that we play a big role in this country.”

A full schedule of events can be found at http://wkunews.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/constitutionweek-2011/.