During Constitution week, our chapter of Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Arizona worked to spread education about the constitution and gauge students’ awareness of The Bill of Rights and other constitutional issues.
Our event consisted of several days of planning, coordination, and securing resources in order to ensure that our event was optimally successful in our goals of attracting attention to YAL on campus and making our presence known to the student body at large. We rented a colonial-style suit and had our President dressed up as James Madison for the duration of the time we spent tabling. We set up on the mall and spent the late morning and afternoon distributing Constitutions to any and all who would take them and inviting students to take part in a brief quiz about the Constitution and offered them the chance to be entered into a raffle to win one of several groups for their participation.
Using the incentive of a raffle, we were able to attract dozens of students into taking one of our quizzes and handed out more than 200 pocket constitutions as well as flyers advertising for the West Coast Civil Liberties College Tour that we are hosting later this month. Of the people that took part in our quiz we had a wide variety of participants. Students of a great variety of majors took part and many were shocked at their lack of knowledge of such basics as the first ten amendments to the constitution.
We used these opportunities as teaching points and took the time to engage them in discussion about the importance of the Constitution to our republic and encouraged them to use their pocket constitutions to gain a greater command and understanding of its basic principles. We also encouraged all who we talked to to attend the WCCLT in order to gain new insights into the inner workings of the Constitution provide diverse perspectives as to understanding how it ought to be applied in a modern society such as ours.
All together, our Constitution Week event was a great success in that we were able to use minimal resources (a rented costume and a few groups to popular restaurants and local attractions) in order to attract attention to our table and from there we were able to effectively engage those that we talked to about the Constitution and all of its applications both past and present for us as citizens of the United States of America. We took the opportunity to not only fulfill our goals of general education and outreach about the Constitution, but also to advertise for our upcoming constitutional event the WCCLCT, which both raised our profile and campus awareness of our club which is something we have been striving to do as a relatively new club on campus.