Constitution day speaker stresses studying history of America during speech

Steve Bushong

Stephen Balch, president of the National Association of Scholars, speaks on the importance of the U.S. Constitution yesterday in the Student Center. KATIE ROUPE | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

Stephen Balch, president of the National Association of Scholars, said college students are not being taught the history they need to be effective citizens.

Libraries and Media Services sponsored Balch’s visit to Kent State as part of its second annual Constitution Day program.

Speaking in the Student Center, Balch said there has been a decline in the study of history within America’s colleges.

“A recent survey of college students shows knowledge of America’s past is very low,” he said.

Balch said that according to a recent survey, only one out of 50 colleges surveyed required students to take a history class.

“Political and intellectual history is the most important kind of history for undergraduate students to learn today,” Balch said, adding that those subjects provide the grounds for good citizenry.

In keeping with the day’s sentiment, Balch concluded that studying the Constitution’s underlying history is vital to ensuring its preservation and the preservation of a democratic society as a whole.

“Only if we require a store of knowledge will we make good and perpetuate a legacy (the framers) left us,” Balch said.

Constitution Day was instituted in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Education and is officially held on Sept. 17 each year. All schools and colleges receiving federal funding are required to set aside a day to teach about the Constitution.

About 50 people attended the event.

Contact safety reporter Steve Bushong at [email protected].