PHILADELPHIA, Pa., Sept. 15 - In an historic city where America’s forefathers once gathered to sign the Declaration of Independence; Community College of Philadelphia and BillyPenn.com will host “Your Vote is Your Voice,” a voter registration event, from 1 to 3 PM Thursday, Sept. 22 in the Bonnell Building Lobby ( located on 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets).
On that same day, the College will also observe Constitution Day with a full slate of law and justice panels hosted by the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society in Room C2-28 of the Center for Business and Industry (located on the corner of 18th and Callowhill streets).
The program will have a plethora of civic activities, educational games, and giveaways. Ben Franklin will take “selfies” with guests from 1:00 to 2:30 PM.; Community College of Philadelphia students will perform spoken word poetry at 2:00 pm; and students can fill out “Why I Vote” cards, which will be displayed on the pledge wall in the Bonnell Lobby. Voter registration tables with laptops will be available for on-the-spot registration. In addition, free pocket constitutions will be handed out and new voters can use simulated voting machines.
The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement has released the first-of-its kind analysis of the voting patterns of 7.4 million college students at 783 higher education institutions. They found the College’s students exhibit strong levels of engagement. Student voting rates were much higher (63 percent in the 2012 presidential election) than student voting rates of other two- year institutions (44.8 percent).
The College community works to make a difference in the civic life of the city. In 2012, Rock the Vote organizers registered 154 new voters during a day-long event on the Main Campus. In addition, when the right to vote was threatened during the presidential election, 50 students received new college IDs that enabled them to vote.
Commemorating the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, Constitution Day presentations and panel discussions run from 9:40 AM to 4: 10 PM. All the events are free and open to the public, as is the registration drive.
The Constitution sessions include: “Technology and the Constitution,” an exploration of how to apply existing law to 21st century challenges, presented by Elizabeth Canapary, Esq., adjunct professor of Paralegal Studies; “An Overview of the Bill of Rights,” a discussion of amendments of the Constitution, presented by William Mulkeen, Esq., visiting lecturer of Justice and Paralegal Studies; “Our Voices, Our Votes, Our Power – Achieving Systemic Change Through Civic Engagement and Voting,” a look at reforming the criminal justice system through civic engagement and voting; and “The Electoral College,” a discussion of popular versus electoral votes, presented by William Love, Esq., professor of Justice and Social Science department chair.
Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.