The first amendment will be on parade this week, along with much more concrete displays, during Iowa State University’s annual Veisha celebration. Lecturer Mark Witherspoon says this is the second year the journalism school’s saluted the first entry in the Bill of Rights.He says about 50-percent of the population thinks the First Amendment goes too far in allowing Americans freedom, something he finds horrifying since without the amendment we wouldn’t have the freedom that makes this a democracy. Witherspoon admits it can be difficult to explain to young students just how vital the First Amendment’s rights are to life in a democracy as we know it.They don’t really explain it to the students, they show them by having them take part in events that exercise their freedom of speech, press, religion, petition and assembly. The advisor to student publications says there’s a foolproof way to engage the audience. He says they get the kids to assemble, on Central Campus, with an important element — food — and then offer soapboxes for them to get up and debate on. Thursday is First Amendment day, with activities on campus that invite the students to exercise their first-amendment rights with examples of what those entail.There’s an area for prayer and meditation, a debate about religion, the ISU Daily newspaper will have a special edition with its front page that day showing what it’d be like if there weren’t a First Amendment…and there will be several petitions the students can sign there. The Park Library will display banned books, and speakers on a Thursday-evening panel will include former Middle East hostage and ISU grad Terry Anderson, a reporter and writer, as well as Ann Cooper, director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Larry Heinzerling, a longtime editor and executive with the Associated Press.
You are here: / / Constitution part of Veishea week