FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2012
For more information:
Public Relations Department Assistant
Glenville State College
Glenville, West Virginia
Glenville, WV— The Glenville State College Department of Social Sciences and the West Virginia Zeta Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu, the Social Science Honor Society sponsored the eighth annual Constitution Day Ceremony at the GSC Presidents Auditorium on Tuesday, September 18th. The theme for the 2012 celebration was ‘Our Constitutional Right to Vote.’
Dr. Bob Henry Baber, GSC Major Gifts Officer and Project Director for the GSC West Virginia Veterans Legacy Project, was the keynote speaker for the event. “Democracy is a participation sport that is a difficult endeavor but a necessary one as a free citizen. We must step up to the plate to preserve our democracy by voting and running for office. Our system of government only works if we exercise our constitutional right to vote,” said Baber, the former Mayor of Richwood, West Virginia, former Mountain Party West Virginia Gubernatorial candidate, and current Mountain Party candidate for the U.S. Senate.
GSC students had the opportunity to enter the Constitution Day Essay Contest. The theme for this year’s essay was ‘Our Constitutional Right to Vote– Does it Really Make a Difference?’
Kelly King, a junior Psychology/Sociology major from Glenville (Gilmer County), West Virginia won first place honors for her essay. King was awarded a $30 gift certificate to the GSC Bookstore for her winning essay.
Leslie Cutright a junior Nursing and Psychology/Sociology major from Weston (Lewis County), West Virginia and Aaron Frymier a senior Biology major from Glenville (Gilmer County), West Virginia were selected as runner-ups. Each received a $15 gift certificate to the GSC Bookstore.
Federal law requires that all colleges and universities receiving federal funds celebrate Constitution Day each year commemorating the September 17, 1787 signing of the United States Constitution. The law was championed by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia.
“We have taken our requirement to celebrate Constitution Day and turned it in to a teaching exercise and an opportunity to show how patriotic we are. The celebration reminds us how important the Constitution is to each of regardless of what our individual political affiliation is,” said Dr. Arthur DeMatteo GSC Associate Professor of History and Pi Gamma Mu Faculty Advisor.
Kelley Kings winning Constitution Day essay: Almost everyone will agree that voting is an important civil duty. It’s a duty that requires little personal sacrifice. For most of us it takes no more than a few minutes, polling places are easily accessible, registration is simple, and most have pretty definite opinions about whom we want to elect. So why is it that only about half the eligible voters actually get to the polls and vote? According to the For the Record: Voter Turnout, more people aren’t voting than those that are and worse people are starting to believe their vote doesn’t matter. Statistically, voting for the president and having your ballot be the deciding ballot is like trying to hit the lottery, with odds at 60 million to one. Yet the amount of those that buy Power Ball tickets and take their chance greatly exceed the amount of people that vote. Which do you think hold more value: A vote not used, therefore meaningless, or a vote that is cast and counted?
People have lost their lives in pursuit of a right that too many U.S. citizens take for granted. Voting is needed. It’s what helps determine the future of our country and impacts the course of government policy. This in turn impacts things like our economy and jobs, as well as our education systems and health care.
“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt.