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The Sweet Taste of Freedom

Any student of U.S. history can tell you the date the Declaration of Independence was signed: July 4, 1776.

This date is entrenched in our memory, and the Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in U.S. history. As many people may know the second most important document (some might even say the first) is the U.S. Constitution.

It was adopted on Sept.17, 1787. Benjamin Franklin gave a speech urging unanimity in ratification, although the Constitutional Convention decided that only nine states were needed. The Convention submitted the Constitution to the Congress of the Confederation, where it was approved under Article 13 of the Articles of Confederation. On March 4, 1789, the United States government was officially in business.

Here at Rollins College, faculty, staff and students celebrated Constitution Day by writing on a wall of “Free Speech.”

Anyone on campus could come up to the wall and write whatever he or she wanted, although most wrote about democracy and peace. Some of the messages written on the wall were: “Carpe Diem” (Latin for “Seize the day”), “X Club is awesome,” “Venezuelans’ freedom of speech is [sic] being impaired,” “Progressives are the real enemy of the state,” and various other phrases, whether they had something to do with freedom of speech or not. The wall was just a chance for students to express themselves freely.

In addition to writing on the “Freedom of Speech Wall,” members of the classes of 2013 and 2014 were able to vote for their SGA senators.

Many students took advantage of this opportunity to cast their votes. Voters received lollipops– which had Constitutional amendments tied to them–upon placing their vote for their class senator. The SGA was very pleased by the enthusiastic voter turnout.

All in all, the Constitution Day event turned out to be rousing success; students cast votes, learned about the Constitution and its amendments, and were able to express their opinions on the “Freedom of Speech Wall.” It was a memorable event, and hopefully it will be repeated in the future.

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