Monday, Sept. 19, SFSU faculty will devote a day to the U.S. Constitution,
commemorating the anniversary of this
document's signing on Sept. 17, 1787. Lectures and discussions will
be led by senior faculty from several colleges and disciplines ranging
from political science to math. Open to anyone on campus, all the programs
will take place in the Humanities building.
federal law requires colleges to present programs about the U.S.
each year. The requirement was inserted into a fall
2004 spending bill by Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-West Virginia, and is
administered by the U.S. Department of Education. This is the first
year that "Constitution Day" will be observed at campuses
The day kicks off at 10:10 a.m. in the Humanities auditorium, room
133, with a current events perspective offered by Michael Graham, professor
of political science, on the politics involved in the appointment of
John Roberts to the Supreme Court.
Waldrep, Pasker Chair of American History, will addresses the idea
governance in "The Constitution, the Supreme
Court and the People" at 12:10 p.m. in the Humanities auditorium.
Lectures and discussions throughout the day are as follows:
Constitution, the Supreme Court, Civil Rights and Affirmative Action:
Robert Smith, professor of political science, will speak about
the 14th Amendment vs. the commerce clause and Amy Smith, professor
will give a perspective on social psychology and affirmative action.
The lecture and discussion begins at 11:10 and will be moderated
by Kenneth Monteiro, dean of ethnic studies, in the Humanities
Constitution, the Supreme Court, and Disability Rights: A Perspective
on the History of Disability Rights, will be presented by Paul Longmore,
professor of history, and guest speaker Mazen Basrawi, an attorney
from Disability Rights Advocates. Jules Tygiel, professor of history,
will moderate this lecture at 11:10 in Humanities room 386.
the Constitution, and Social Justice: Joanne Barker, assistant
professor of American Indian studies; Robert Fung, lecturer in
American studies; Brigitte Davila, lecturer in Raza studies; and
Donna Hubbard, lecturer in Africana studies, will focus on the
implications of the recent U.S. District Court decision regarding
the Kamehameha Schools in Hawai'i. James Okutsu, associate dean
studies, will moderate this event in the Humanities Auditorium beginning
at 1:10 p.m.
- Tensions and Meanings of the Constitution: James Martel, assistant
professor of political science. and Jonathan Middlebrook, professor
of English, will present their perspectives on the rhetoric of the
Constitution and the notion of self-reliance as expressed by Ralph
Waldo Emerson. This session, moderated by Robert Cherny, acting dean
of undergraduate studies, will begin at 1:10 in Humanities room 277.
- The Constitution in Time of War: Corey Cook, assistant professor
of political science, will speak on the War Powers Act and Congress's
constitutional responsibility. William Issel, professor of history,
will share his recent research on war, civil liberties and the
separation of church and state as it applied to a San Francisco Italian
during WWII. This program is in Humanities auditorium at 2:10 p.m.
Constitution and Voting: Frank Sheehan, emeritus professor of mathematics,
will speak about the mathematics of apportionment and
Francis Neely, assistant professor of political science, will present
ton constitutional constraints on electoral reform in Humanities
room 277 at 2:10 p.m.
first annual Constitution Day at SFSU was organized by a committee
consisting of Cherny; Monteiro; Longmore; Graham; Waldrep; Joel Kassiola,
dean of the behavioral and social sciences; Amita Shastri, chair of
political science, and Richard Hoffman, chair of history.
we did not originate the idea for Constitution Day, we enthusiastically
embraced it," Kassiola said. "We felt
the obligation to offer our students an opportunity to think critically
and incisively about our public policy, how it was formed and how it
information on the sessions see the Undergraduate
Studies Web site.
A scan of the U.S. Constitution is available on the National
Archives Web site.