YORK, Pa. — Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 men on Sept. 17, 1787, and celebrates the birthday of the government of the United States of America. Penn State York plans to celebrate Constitution Day on Monday, Sept. 19, with the "WE ARE the People" trivia event at 12:10 p.m.at the start of the Student Government Association (SGA) meeting in the Precision Custom Components (PCC) Community Room in the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center on campus. The event is free and open to the public.
In addition to the trivia contest, the academic affairs office on campus is distributing pocket-size copies of the constitution in both English and Spanish, while supplies last. Robert Farrell, director of academic affairs at Penn State York, also plans to walk around the campus to distribute copies of the Constitution on Friday, Sept. 16, and Monday, Sept. 19.
“Constitution Day and Citizenship Day are observed on the same date and, by using questions about the Constitution from the naturalization test, our event celebrates both,” said Barbara Eshbach, head librarian at the Lee R. Glatfelter Library at Penn State York and coordinator of the Constitution Day/Citizenship Day event.
Those in attendance will be given a clicker and then try their best to answer 20 questions offered in a PowerPoint presentation. These questions are taken from the civics portion of the naturalization test to become an American citizen. Using the clickers provides a way for participants to remain anonymous and not embarrass those who may not be up on American history. Participating in this activity can be an eye-opening experience for participants as they realize that immigrants need to know this information to become a U.S. citizen.
Do you know how many amendments the Constitution has? The answer is 27, and very few people get the answer right, according to Eshbach.
There are 100 questions in the naturalization test, and during the naturalization interviews, applicants are asked up to 10 questions from that list. They must answer six questions correctly to pass the civics test.
Participants in the trivia contest will keep track of the number of the 20 questions they answer correctly, with the hope of answering at least 12 right, which would correspond to the same percentage of questions actual applicants have to answer correctly in order to pass the test.
Prizes will be given out randomly, and participants do not have to answer correctly to win. Those who would like to study for the trivia event can visit the naturalization test website.