By SAMANTHA HART
The political world has always been a topic of discussion around this time of year. It is talked about non-stop during the presidential election years, but many people seem to forget about politics during the “off-season.”
Monday, Sept. 17 was Constitution Day. This holiday recognizes the day in 1787 when the Constitution was signed in Philadelphia at the Constitutional Convention, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
This is most likely a holiday that many people have never heard of or have no interest in.
In 2005, it became mandatory that educational facilities receiving federal funding provide the students some sort of event on Sept. 17 each year regarding the Constitution, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Dr. Chris Rasmussen, Associate Professor of History at FDU, said that Constitution Day at FDU has always been more geared toward the students. The entire purpose the event is to educate the students in a way that is fitted to them.
“The key goal is to try to get students more active in politics. The importance of studying politics is just part of being a good citizen,” Rasmussen said,
“Ultimately, citizens are supposed to be aware of what’s going on to defend their rights. Many people often have too much going on in their lives to worry about politics, but it is important for people to know something about government.”
Rasmussen added that is also crucial that young people, and middle aged people as well, are actively involved in the decision making of the government officials. Many people who make the final decisions in government, locally and nationally, are in their seventies. So many of the issues younger people see as crucial, such as economic or environmental, may get overlooked or deliberately ignored because no one asks questions or holds those with power accountable for finding a solution.
There aren’t too many memorable moments in New Jersey’s political history, according to Rasmussen.
“Many people are absorbed with national politics and don’t pay much attention to local politics, despite the decisions that affect us the most being local decisions or by the state itself. New Jersey is often ignored by the very people that live here.” Rasmussen said.
The recent uptick in activism among young people in the political world is cause for optimism. This shows that the younger generation does care about what happens in the future with our government and, ultimately, themselves.