Constitution Day gets social

On Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed. This year on Sept. 17, 2015, Bradley University is celebrating Constitution Day with its students.

“Because Bradley receives funding from the government, federal law dictates that we must acknowledge Constitution Day,” Student Affairs intern Kristin Kreher said. “Our celebrations are aimed to increase awareness about the Constitution and our rights that it protects.”

Bradley University, similar to many other colleges, receives federal funding through grant programs and student loans. This fact requires Bradley to hold a Constitution Day program of some sort the week prior or afterwards, if the day falls on a weekend.

Many students aren’t aware of Constitution Day and what it represents.

“This is a program of value that goes beyond just the minimum requirements, however,” Kreher said. “When Nathan [Thomas] came to me with this project, I’ll admit that I didn’t know when Constitution Day is, which is something I think can be said for the majority of Americans.”

Previous celebrations for Constitution Day included events on the quad, but Kreher and Vice President for Student Affairs Nathan Thomas saw potential to engage students even further.

“In this, she [Kreher] is building off some work [for Constitution Day] previously done by a Student Affairs intern and is actively working on this year’s activities, which will be focused on a social media campaign about the Constitution itself,” Thomas said.

Thomas and Kreher also said they incorporated two video elements to this year’s Constitution Day celebrations.

One video featured various student organizations and Bradley employees, including Interim President Stan Liberty and Director of Athletics Chris Reynolds, reciting the Preamble to the Constitution. This video was posted to Bradley’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The other video component is a series of “take-it-to-the-streets” videos, which featured students attempting to recite the Preamble from memory. These are posted on Bradley’s Snapchat.

“Many of us had to do this in grade school or remember the School House Rock song about it, so it’s neat to see how many people still remember it,” Kreher said.

Once this year’s campaign is finished, Kreher said its success will be evaluated to prepare for Bradley’s future celebrations. Thomas said future years are likely to involve more active participation.

“This campaign shares Constitution fun facts through a variety of platforms, including flyers, Hilltop Happenings, Twitter and Facebook,” Kreher said.

Students can access these electronic fun facts with #ConstitutionDay.