Constitution Day is September 17 and the University of Minnesota Crookston is recognizing this day with discussion on an important provision of the Constitution: The U.S. Census. Like other educational institutions, we are committed to our public purpose, which includes educating our students and others on information critical to our democracy.

All educational institutions that receive Federal funds are required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students on or around Constitution Day. In 2019, UMC is taking this from requirement to a top priority and addressing critical issues to our democracy during a soup and substance lunch on September 17, 2019, in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center, at the UMC. Participants will learn more about the role and significance of the census in the United States lead by Sharon Neet, professor in the Liberal Arts and Education Department

“We want to remind students, faculty, and staff of the importance of being good citizens and to instill a greater understanding of the reasons why we count every resident in the United States once a decade,” says Mary Holz-Clause, chancellor at UMC. “This year is the ideal time to engage in a discussion on this topic in preparation for the 2020 Census.”

Supported by Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact, the Constitution Day Dialogue Initiative, provides campuses with ideas, support, and resources for increasing the impact of this obligation. Events will be held at thirteen campuses and will cover a variety of topics and dialogue models. Several Minnesota Campuses are hosting dialogue on the 2020 Census. Others are discussing issues like the First Amendment, immigration, and school segregation.

“Recent years have offered many examples of the importance the Constitution has in our daily lives,” said Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact Executive Director Emily Shields. “We applaud these campuses for their leadership in keeping discussion about this document alive.”

Minnesota Campus Compact worked in collaboration with the Minnesota Higher Education Network to develop the “2020 Census: We all count. Will we all be counted?” dialogue guide. Special thanks to Metropolitan State University’s Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership program, including faculty director Adrienne Falcón and graduate interns Ben Baglio and Nima Hussein, and the State of Minnesota Demographer’s Office. Year-round and throughout the state, campuses are using dialogue and deliberation strategies both inside and beyond the classroom as tools for civic education and community problem-solving. Find more information here.