Constitution Day is today and South Central College, Minnesota State University and Gustavus Adolphus College are all hosting discussions 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. We also have an obligation to support a complete Census count. It is a critical time for us to take these obligations seriously and carry them out with the weight and importance they bring.

Understanding the Constitution and the Census are complicated endeavors. For this reason, the college and university leaders who are part of Minnesota Campus Compact chose to include a dialogue about the Census as part of their Constitution Day activities this year.

These one-day events are part of a larger effort by campuses to support the 2020 Census. It is critical that we support a complete count of our students and our communities in order to guide future public policy and resource decisions.

In addition to holding a conversation on the 2020 Census, Minnesota State will begin Constitution Day with a special 9 a.m. flag-raising ceremony outside Centennial Student Union and distribute a Constitution quiz in the student union over the lunch hour.

Minnesota State’s Memorial Library will be also be creating a Constitution Day book display that will be on display from Sept. 16-27. There will also be a display table with information about the Constitution set up at both South Central College campuses for students and others to visit throughout the day.

At Gustavus Adolphus College, students in the Public Deliberation and Dialogue Program will host a community conversation about the logistics of the census and its centrality to public life.

We can think of no better day, than Constitution Day, to begin this important effort to ensure all our students, faculty, staff, family and neighbors are represented in the 2020 Census.

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