Friday, September 1, 2017

Celebrate Constitution Day & Enter Essay Contest!

Image of the Constitution near a pair of old glasses, a quill and Rio mascot Splash dressed in founding father fashion and powdered wig.

We invite you to celebrate Constitution Day, September 17-- and enter the Rio Salado Constitution Day Essay Contest for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

We created this web page, which includes details about the contest, a resource guide, thoughtful essays, podcasts and more to get you into the Constitution Day spirit:

It also includes a music video featuring Rio Salado Library Assistant Christopher Orf performing a song he wrote called The U.S. Constitution Talking Blues-- to inspire you to read and think about how the Constitution affects your life.

Get in the Spirit of Constitution Day with Chris Orf singing The U.S. Constitution Talking Blues

Constitution Day commemorates the inception and signing of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. The holiday serves as a strong reminder that our rights as citizens and the structure of our government were founded upon the guiding principles in this document—and that freedom and liberty require civic engagement and sacrifice.

We take pause each year to honor and reflect upon the importance and meaning of the United States Constitution and to encourage students and the communities we serve to join us.

Image of Splash dressed as a Founding Father

Express Yourself! Enter the Rio Salado Constitution Day Essay Contest!

The contest is open to all students currently registered at Rio Salado College who submit an essay addressing this topic: Given that the United States Constitution is a living document, how would you use it to promote change?

Participants will have a chance to win one of 3 prizes:
• 1st place: $100 Amazon gift card
• 2nd place: $50 Amazon gift card
• 3rd place: $50 Amazon gift card

Essays are due by midnight, Sunday, Sept. 17. The winners will be notified on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Visit this web page for additional details:

We asked a few students to share their sentiments about Constitution Day. Here’s a look at what Michaelanthony C. Arberry Jr. had to say from the perspective of a Rio Salado student, academic advisor, new dad of twins, military veteran and champion of the Constitution.

Image of American flag, US Constitution and photo of Michael

What Constitution Day Means to Me – By Michaelanthony C. Arberry Jr.

The United States Constitution means a great deal to me.

I come from a family of Marines. My father served 27 years, my brother served 4 years, and I served for 6 years. My great grandfather fought in WWII and was listed as Missing in Action (MIA), he was never found.

Before we are shipped off to basic training we swear an allegiance (military oath). One part of the oath is; “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

The United States Constitution is the foundation of our country. It established the national government, it established fundamental laws, and it gave certain basic rights to our citizens. The Constitution is the pillar of our country. Though our country is not perfect the Constitution allows us to make changes.

With the end of the civil war the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were introduced to the U.S. Constitution. Collectively these amendments were known as the Civil War Amendments which ensured equality for recently emancipated slaves. As our country continues to grow and change we will encounter problems. The great part about this country is we can change the constitution (add amendments) as our country changes. I am proud and blessed to be a citizen of the United States.

I know the sacrifices that were made by family to get to where I am at. My great grandfather though he fought for the United States during WWII he was not a citizen. He was from the Philippines and the United States offered Filipinos to fight alongside them with the promise of streamlining their U.S. citizenship.

That is the power and allure of becoming a U.S. citizen; my grandfather was willing to die for the chance to become a U.S. citizen. His sacrifice has shaped me into a man I am today.

Look for other essays and Constitution Day resources at