Constitution Day planned at GCCC

Students and members of the community can register to vote and learn about constitutional freedom today in a pair of parallel Constitution Day events at Garden City Community College.

Various public institutions observe the day each year, and the two outdoor GCCC events will include:

* A voter registration booth, open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of Saffell Library on the central campus mall, sponsored by the Student Government Association. Voter registration is open to all citizens. While photo identification isn't required to register as a voter in Kansas, newly registered voters must provide their Kansas driver's license or state ID numbers, as well as the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, when arriving at the polls to cast their ballots.

Individuals registering to vote may declare affiliation with either the Democratic or Republican parties, or with no party.

* Eat Free or Live Free, a First Amendment free food festival also being held near the library during the same hours, hosted by GC3 Student Media, SGA, the GCCC Department of Public Safety and the GCCC Drama Department. The Eat Free or Live Free event will allow students or others to enter a designated "socialist state" and receive free pizza, soft drinks and gourmet cookies. However, to enter the area set aside as the fictional socialist state, participants will be asked to symbolically sign away some of their constitutional rights, including the right to religious practice, speech and assembly. The symbolic enforcement will be conducted by GCCC Criminal Justice Students, with those from the Drama Department creating demonstrations.

Constitution Day was established as a federal holiday in 2004 to memorialize ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The day is sponsored across the U.S. by the National Constitution Center and Bill of Rights Institute of Philadelphia, with support from USA Today, the Annenberg Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust.