Constitution Day

By Christine Lowe

Each year the Office of Public Engagement hosts Constitution Day. Constitution Day commemorates the actual signing of the United States Constitution which occurred on September 17th, 1787. All educational institutions that receive Federal funds are required to develop a Constitution Day program for their students. This program must coincide during the week commemorating the actual signing of the constitution.

SchmeiserThis year the Office of Public Engagement along with the Department of Political Science presented a two-part Constitution Day Program: Loving v. Virginia: At the Heart of Racial and Marriage Equality. The first part of the program occurred on September 18th, 2017 with a screening of the Oscar-nominated movie “Loving” in the Student Union Theater. This movie which depicts an interracial couple whose landmark legal battle for their right to marry would result in the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision: Loving v. Virginia.

The Constitution Day events continued on September 19th, 2017 with a student poster presentation and discussion with Susan Schmeiser, Ph.D., J.D. in the Wilbur Cross South Reading Room.

Dr. Susan Schmeiser is a faculty member of the UConn School of Law and holds a  Ph.D. in English Literature from Brown University, where she spent five years as a teaching assistant and advanced teaching fellow, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Students from Dr. Virginia Hettinger’s POLS 3837: Civic Rights and Legal Mobilization course created six posters for the event each with a specific perspective on the landmark decision. After the poster presentation, Dr. Schmeiser concluded the program with a presentation and discussion on the landmark decision.