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Ramapo College Celebrates Constitution Day with Series of Events through December Including Visit by Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference October 9

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 16, 2013

(MAHWAH, NJ) – Ramapo College is celebrating Constitution Day on September 17 with the launch of a series of observations and discussions of critically important issue facing Americans today, from marriage equality to racial justice, the Voting Rights Act and including a visit from an alumnus and the Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is an American federal holiday that recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution. It is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787. The College’s celebration is a joint effort led by The Civic and Community Engagement Center and supported by a collection of units across campus.

On Constitution Day, Tuesday, September 17, join students at the Arch from noon to 2 p.m. to sign a giant version of the United States Constitution. Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers, will be in attendance and deliver a special address. The Civic and Community Engagement Center and the Law and Society Faculty Convening Group will officially kick off the Fall 2013 Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Discussion Series. Participants will discuss the series, why it is important and how you can participate in upcoming events scheduled through December.  Ramapo will also launch its own Turbo Vote website where students, faculty and staff can easily register to vote, apply for vote-by-mail, and sign up for text and/or e-mail information regarding upcoming elections and candidates.

On Wednesday, October 9 join Ramapo College alumnus Damien A. Conners ’06, the Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the venerable civil rights organization founded by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, as he discusses the events leading up to the recent 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Conners, along with others, organized the Anniversary March and will also discuss the recent Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. The event is open to Ramapo College students and invited guests. Media coverage is welcome. The program begins at 11:15 a.m. in the Berrie Center’s Sharp Theater.

The SCOTUS Discussion Series begins Thursday, October 10 with an appearance by pioneers for marriage equality in New Jersey, Cindy Meneghin and Maureen Kilian, who will share their story about their decade-long battle. Professor Jillian Weiss will present the history leading up to the Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor v. U.S.; and California Ballot Measure (Proposition 8): Hollingsworth v. Perry and lead a discussion about the implications of the Supreme Court’s deeming DOMA unconstitutional. Friends Hall (SC-219), 1 to 2 p.m.

On Monday, November 4 come out and discuss the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County Alabama v. Holder; Nix v. Holder and the “preclarence” provisions of the Voting Rights act that may have a significant impact especially on minority voters on Election Day  November 5. The Voting Rights Act has many problems that both Congress and SCOTUS will continue to wrestle with in the years ahead. The conversation will be led by Professor Sanghamitra Padhy. Friends Hall (SC-219), 1 to 2 p.m.

On Thursday, December 5 the topic is Affirmative Action and Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. While many anticipated a 5-4 conservative decision, the SCOTUS sent this issue back down to a lower court. While this case has a significant impact on colleges and universities, not much changed in terms of practice. What does this mean moving forward? Professor Mihaela Serban will continue this conversation initiated last spring by the Diversity Action Committee and American Democracy Project. Friends Hall (SC-219), 1 to 2 p.m.

For more information about Constitution Day events, contact Brandon Martin at the Civic and Community Engagement Center at 201-684-7223. Members of the media interested in attending any of the events may contact Anna Farneski at 201-684-6844.

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About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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