Congratulations to All the Undergraduates Who Wrote Essays for Constitution Day 2015

Out of 189 students who enrolled in the UK Canvas “course” to review the 2015 Constitution Day Essay Contest rules (see more about the inaugural Essay Contest here), twenty-one students submitted essays. Students from a wide variety of majors and colleges/units participated:

  • 7 Freshmen, 4 Sophomores, 7 Junior, 3 Senior
  • Majors: Accounting, Biology, English, History, International Studies, Journalism, Marketing, Media Arts & Studies, Pre-Arts Administration, Pre-Chemical Engineering, Pre-Civil Engineering, Pre-Integrated Strategic Communication, Pre-Journalism, Pre-Mechanical Engineering, Undeclared
  • Colleges/Units: Arts & Sciences, Business & Economics, Communication & Information, Fine Arts, Engineering, Undergraduate Education’s Undergraduate Studies and Honors

The essays show that there are a wide range of responses to the prompt:

The 2015 race for governor is well under way, and as was to be expected, the TV advertising offers a lot more heat than light. In other words, voters are learning less about the issues and witnessing more of the dirt the candidates are shoveling at each other. Your essay should address two questions:

  1. Should the General Assembly pass a law before the 2019 state elections requiring candidates to abstain from using half-truths and lies in their advertising so that voters can be better informed on the important issues facing the state?
  2. Would such a law survive a court test?

Some of the essays did not include a title (not a required element), but those essays that did have a title show the creativity and critical thinking used. To whet your appetite for reading the winning essays once they are announced, we share here some of our favorite titles:

Bad Ads The Legality of Lying
Legislating Truth The Truth, Amended
Justice for All – Beginning with America’s Politicians Truth in Political Advertising: An Oxymoron

A panel of judges selected by the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center will score the entries based on the following criteria: historical and legal accuracy of the content, the strength and logic of the argument, the original ideas presented, the organization of the argument, including the thesis, and the quality of the writing. Announcement of the winners and presentation of the prizes will be made by Dr. Ben Withers, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, during the Scripps Howard First Amendment Celebration, which begins at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 29th in the Alumni Auditorium of the William T. Young Library.
Constitution Day 2015 at UK

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About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
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