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Fourth annual Constitution Day set for Wednesday, Sept. 17

Sept.10, 2008 -- Arkansas State University’s fourth annual Constitution Day, set for Wednesday, Sept. 17, focuses on a timely topic with the presidential election approaching, “Presidential Campaign ’08: Reflections on the Internet as a Source of Information for Young Voters.”

Constitution Day, sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, gets underway at 9 a.m. in Centennial Hall on the third floor of the ASU Student Union. The event is open to all ASU students and high school students. Julie Barko Germany, director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet at George Washington University, is the keynote speaker.

Germany is the author of several works related to online political advertising and fundraising and the political power of online social networks. She has provided commentary for magazines, international newspapers, and news media including MSNBC, C-Span, Fox News, CBS, and NBC.

Following the keynote address, roundtable and focus group sessions are scheduled in various rooms in the ASU Student Union. Three meetings get underway at 10 a.m., including a panel with Germany; Dr. Richard Wang, chair, political science; Dr. Lillie M. Fears, associate professor of journalism; Dr. Patrick Williams, assistant professor of sociology, criminology, and geography; and Dr. Lily Zeng, assistant professor of radio-television, to discuss “Choosing a President: Campaign ’08 and the First-Time Voter” in the Student Union Auditorium.

During two sessions, at 10 and 11 a.m., Dr. Hans Hacker, assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Laquita K. Saunders, instructor of history, will head up the focus group for “Presidential Power in Times of National Crisis: You Make the Call!” in the Mockingbird Room. Participants will debate a fictitious conflict and craft a resolution for a case study of presidential power.

In the Pine Room, the focus group, “Campaign ’08: What Do You Know?” will be monitored by Dr. Will McLean and Dr. Cameron Wimpy, assistant professors of political science. This is an interactive session examining the process of electing a president and what potential voters know and don’t know about campaign issues.

A roundtable discussion in the auditorium with representatives from the Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns begins at 11 a.m. to exchange information on issues which could possibly determine the outcome of the presidential election.

Constitution Day commemorates the 221st anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. A 2005 act of Congress states that all educational institutions receiving federal funding must observe September 17 as Constitution Day, which celebrates the 1787 signing of the founding document for the United States. For more information about the act of Congress that mandated Constitution Day for educational institutions, see

For additional information, contact Dr. Carol O’Connor, associate dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at (870) 972-3973, or e-mail




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