The Institute for Media and Public Trust will sponsor a program on Sept. 17 that is designed to educate Fresno State students on the freedoms that the First Amendment guarantees. There will be several activities to encourage students to learn about these important freedoms during the program that will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the grassy area in front of the Kennel Bookstore.
More than 60 students from the Media, Communications and Journalism Department have been planning the event after surveying their colleagues last spring about their understanding of the freedoms in the First Amendment. Most students could name three freedoms — speech, press and religion — but often couldn’t recall the other two — the right to assemble and the right to petition government.
Public relations students in the department decided to hold a fun event on Constitution Day to educate students with games, photos and free tacos. They decided to partner with several Fresno State organizations and some off-campus groups to focus on the five freedoms. Keeping with the theme of freedom, Chris Langer from the Madden Library will display books that have been banned and/or censored, while students will play music that has been banned over the years. In addition, the League of Women Voters will be registering voters.
MCJ students will also run social media messaging for the event, and video the proceedings. They will also work the tables at the event, and help fellow students participate in activities to get a free taco.
The Media Institute received a grant from from 1 for All, a national, nonpartisan program on First Amendment awareness. The Fresno State project has been recognized by the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University for its excellence.
There will be other campus events on Constitution Day, including a program on the 19th Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women. The Political Science Department is hosting that program from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The Center for Ethics, Character and Civic Education will hold a Constitution Day event from 3 to 5 p.m. on the 14th Amendment and race relations.