URI to celebrate Constitution Day, Sept. 18, 19

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KINGSTON, R.I. — September 13, 2006 — The University of Rhode Island will celebrate “Constitution Day” over two days this year. Both constitution-focused events –one on Sept. 18 and the other on Sept. 19, are free and open to the public.

“It is our hope that these presentations will stimulate public discussion and private debate,” notes Lynn Pasquerella, vice provost, academic affairs. Here is what’s on tap:

• “CONSTITUTION ALLEY” -Sept. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The center walkways on the URI Quadrangle will be transformed into “Constitution Alley” where members of the campus community will be invited to write their views on such constitutional issues as the death penalty, gay marriage, and abortion. Plenty of paper and tables will be available. Free pizza and beverages will be available for all participants.

• NATIONAL SECURITY VS. CIVIL LIBERTIES PANEL DISCUSSION–Sept. 19 from noon to 1:30 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Panelists Robert Corrente, U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island, appointed by President George W. Bush; and Jerry Elmer, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island, will discuss “Homeland Security versus Constitutional Rights” during an open forum, moderated by URI Vice President for Administration Robert Weygand.

Constitution Day was established as a federal holiday in 2004. It is observed on Sept. 17, the day the Constitutional was signed in 1787. In the opinion of many, the document represents the greatest expression of statesmanship and compromise ever written.

URI’s events are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Administration.