Constitution Day keeps your knowledge as a citizen from getting rusty

Purdue University's Constitution Day keeps your knowledge as a citizen from getting rusty. (WLFI Photo)
Purdue University's Constitution Day keeps your knowledge as a citizen from getting rusty. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Constitution is more than 220 years old and it turns out our knowledge of the important document is getting rusty.

Purdue and other public educational institutions around the nation are helping knock off the rust with events like Purdue’s Constitution Day celebration.

Over the more than two centuries, it seems that the average U.S. citizen has become more and more disconnected with the document. Every two years people are randomly quizzed on their knowledge of the document and the amount of correct answers is lower each time.

“In the last one, for example, more folks could name the members of the cartoon Simpson family than the five freedoms that were in the First Amendment, or more people could name the three stooges than the three branches of government. These are concerning,” said Phillip VanFossen, Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship director.

To help educate the public on the document signed so many years ago, the Federal Government has mandated that publicly funded educational institutions hold an event around the time of Constitution Day. Purdue’s event is centered around quiz competitions, testing people’s knowledge of the information in the Constitution.

Knowing what is in the Constitution is important in our role as citizen.

“It’s essential that people who are taking on that office of office of citizen know what they’re doing. Understand the Constitution, understand their rights and their responsibilities under such a system,” said Phillip VanFossen, Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship director.

Groups from ROTC as well as students and local community figures took part in the quiz-offs.

Members from the Greater Lafayette League of Women Voters were also on hand to help make sure students were registered to vote.

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