Celebrating Constitution Day

Melissa Michelson, Professor of Political Science; Hanna Malak, Menlo College Student Government President; Bill Widmer, Atherton Vice Mayor; Yasmin Lambie-Simpson, Dean of Student Affairs.

September 16, 2011

Two days of constitutionally-themed events are being held in celebration of the 224th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, which occurred on September 17, 1787.

Today Bill Widmer, Vice Mayor of Atherton, spoke to students about the routinely overlooked 9th and 10th Amendments and the need to be involved in politics.

“Many of our rights are left for the people to decide. That means you and I need to shape what our rules and rights will be. We can do that by voting, being activist or by getting involved in government,” said Bill Widmer. “I want to leave you with a request that as you leverage the education and the experience you have gained here in the student-involved atmosphere at Menlo, to get involved!”

Menlo Park Vice Mayor Kirsten Keith and Transportation Commissioner Ray Mueller were also on hand during the event, registering students to vote.

“Much of our day-to-day lives are impacted by local government officials—such as Atherton Vice Mayor Bill Widmer—and their decisions,” said Melissa Michelson, Professor of Political Science and organizer of the events.  ”It is really important for us to pay attention to our local officials because their power over our daily lives is immediate and significant.” She added that we live in a pluralist system where access to local officials provides us a means to effect change in our government.

Saturday, on the actual anniversary of the signing, the movie “A More Perfect Union” will be shown during brunch in the Dining Commons. The film depicts events of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. During and after the movie, students will have a chance to win prizes by participating in a Constitution-themed trivia game.