By Raylyn Bowers
Members of the Student Government Association teamed with members of the Student Life organization at Amarillo College to host an election for new SGA members, hand out pocket Constitutions, sponsor a coffee cart and offer free red, white and blue doughnuts Sept. 17. The festivities were in honor of Constitution Day.
Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the United States Constitution by 39 men on Sept. 17, 1787. The ratification of the Constitution in 1789 makes it the world’s longest surviving written charter of government.
The Constitution has remained in force for more than two centuries due to the separation and balance in government powers established by the framers. Their goal was to safeguard the interests of the majority rule and minority rights of liberty and equality. The document has evolved through amendments in order to meet the changing needs of the nation.
The annual celebration is required by law in order for AC students to continue receiving federal financial aid. However, some students said the requirement was not the only reason members of SGA were out celebrating. The opportunity was used to create awareness of the U.S. Constitution. It was a way to remember sacrifices the founding fathers made to ensure that citizens of the United States were free and had their rights protected.
“The flags are a reminder of the Constitution and what was given up to give us the freedom that we have,” said Mario Villareal, a mechanical engineering major and SGA president. “Even though we don’t think about it often, it’s nice to give thanks for our founding document.”
The day was a foggy morning, but the weather did not hamper the spirits of the students.
“On this doom and gloom day, we are still very patriotic,” said Lamara Keys, a respiratory care major. “Happy Constitution Day.”
The SGA election was conducted Sept. 16-17. Twenty-five new members were sworn in at the SGA meeting on Sept. 18.
“It was a success,” said Heather Atchley, director of Student Life. “We were really pleased with the turnout at the voter registration and the SGA election tables.”
In addition to the SGA creating awareness of the Constitution and giving out free coffee and doughnuts, the national League of Women Voters set up a table so students could register to vote. The AC choir, dressed in red, white and blue uniforms, performed the national anthem and “God Bless America” led by Dr. Steven Weber at 10:15 a.m. Sept. 17.
To speak to SGA members, visit the Student Life offices in the basement of the Student Union Building or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmarilloCollegeSGA.