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Constitution Day Observation Looks at First Amendment Right to Petition Government Over Grievances

First Amendment redress

The Institute for Ethics in Public Life will host “Be a Changemaker: Your Right to Petition the Government,” SUNY Plattsburgh’s annual observance of Constitution Day, Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. via Zoom.

The institute, in conjunction with other SUNY campuses, including Cortland, Oswego, Old Westbury, Buffalo State and Nassau Community College and representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, will participate in a series of educational and participatory sessions with political leaders, staff members, advocates, and activists exploring the First Amendment right to petition the government for the redress of grievances.

This year’s Constitution Day observation includes the following four sessions:

  • Keynote address: 10-11:15 a.m. “From Student to State Rep: My Advocacy Journey” with Massachusetts State Rep. Natalie Higgins
  • Advocacy panel: 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. A Q&A session with advocates and government officials across party lines including SUNY Plattsburgh grad Adam Saccardi ’15, director of constituent services for U.S. Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.-1)
  • Advocacy workshop: 1-2:15 p.m. A chance for students to work with facilitators in breakout sessions to learn more about how to engage in effective advocacy on issues of importance to them
  • Voter registration rush: 2:30-3:45 p.m. Students can get online help registering to vote

The Thomas Moran Seminar Room, Hawkins 233, will be open for those interested in viewing the keynote and advocacy panel without registering. Space is limited. Keynote can also be viewed in Au Sable Hall Room 123 and the advocacy panel in Hawkins 214 without needing to register.

Observance of Constitution Day is required of public institutions of higher learning that receive federal funds. As such, SUNY Plattsburgh, through its Institute for Ethics in Public Life, has led educational activities to mark this occasion every September since the establishment of Constitution Day by Congress in 2004.

Advance registration is required to Zoom into this event. For more information, contact Dr. Daniel Lake, director, Institute for Ethics in Public Life, at 518-564-5830 or email [email protected] or Dr. Ben Medeiros, assistant professor of communication studies, at 518-564-4294 or email [email protected].

— By Associate Director of Communications Gerianne Downs

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