Student Government hosts Constitution Day
Guest panelists stressed the importance of the Constitution to students.
BY LAURA CLARK, News Editor
On Monday afternoon, Student Government hosted Constitution Day, which featured a panel of speakers who answered questions regarding the Constitution and state and federal laws. The guest panelists stressed the importance of the Constitution to students, and talked about why it is still important in every American’s life.
Speakers included Dr. Jocelyn Benson, an associate professor at Wayne State Law School and Assistant Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, and State Senator Patrick Colbeck, who is currently in his first term in the Michigan Legislature serving the 7th district. The speakers were asked a series of questions about the constitution by a panel moderator, after which the floor was opened to questions.
“We use the Constitution every day,” said McQuade. “Our job at the end of the day is to make sure everyone’s constitutional rights are protected.” Colbeck agreed and said, “It’s very important because the Constitution represents a contract between you, the people, and we, your representatives.
“I love our Constitution because it sets up a system of principles,” said Benson. “I think the brilliance of what the Constitution does is that it sets up three branches of government that check each other.”
One of the questions asked to the panel was what advice they might have for students aspiring to enter the world of law and politics. All three panelists had similar advice to give.
“Stay true to yourself,” said Benson. “Make sure you go in with a strong sense of who you are and what you want to accomplish. And go with a commitment to your perspective. Stay true to your own beliefs, not what others want you to believe.”
McQuade and Colbeck encouraged students to seek public office only for the right reasons.
“You have to be prepared,” said Colbeck. “It’s not just about you, it’s about other people too.”