Pierce College’s Associated Students Organization celebrated United States Constitution Day, hosting the event on the Mall on Sept. 17.Although the event, which was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., got off to a late start, ASO members seemed enthusiastic and patriotic as they set up tables, covering them in American flag tablecloths and a banner that read, “Constitution Day – win a free iPod!””We are a publicly funded school. We have a responsibility to recognize the Constitution. We do it for the spirit of our government, especially since we have so many international students,” said Lara Kalaidjian, ASO vice president. “No other country has such a powerful and symbolic constitution. It’s a symbol of our freedom.” ASO members drew chalk arrows on the pavement to help lure curious eyes toward the tables that were set up in front of the Financial Aid Office, though most students really just wanted to know, “How do I get the free iPod?”Students had to complete a 10-question quiz on the Constitution (cheat-sheet included) “to see how much people know about it.” Students with perfect scores would be entered in the raffle for an iPod Shuffle.The event was also used as a means of recruiting members to the ASO. Along with copies of the U.S. Constitution, hand puppets in the form of the Bill of Rights (squiggly eyes and all), quizzes and American flags, students could pick up applications to join the club. A couple of students took advantage of the opportunity.”It’s their voice, a union of students. We (ASO) are the liaison between them and the faculty and other students,” said ASO President Tessa Moss.Although it was “hot and slow” at times, according to Moss, it was during the rush between classes when the event seemed to get the most attention. ASO members dispersed in all directions, getting students who mostly seemed eager to get home for lunch to join the event. There was no way, however, the crowd could miss Moss and Kalaidjian taking turns announcing at the top of their lungs, “We’re celebrating the Constitution today! Take a short quiz and win a free iPod!”The method proved to be effective in catching the nearby students’ attention and they stopped to listen to the booming voices of their ASO president and vice president. Some approached the stars-and-stripes-draped tables and others just went back to what they were doing.
At one point, there were about 10 students gathered around the two tent-covered tables, most of whom were frantically trying to complete the quiz for a chance to win the iPod. Others inquiringly poked their heads in, trying to see what all the fuss was about.
According to the News University Web site, “Even though federal law requires schools to teach about the Constitution and the First Amendment, a majority don’t know that Constitution Day exists.”
Although the majority of students didn’t know there was a day dedicated to celebrating that piece of paper that states our rights as Americans, Pierce’s ASO got students involved and was able to please at least one student other than the iPod winner.
“It was pretty fun,” said Michael Clark, a second-semester student, as he sipped his complimentary Capri Sun. “It was better than some of the other events I’ve been to.”