By Justin Schaefer
What do Clinton vs Trump, Black Lives Matter, and the brand new MVC dining hall have in common? They were all topics of discussion in this years Constitution Alley. If you are a student, or staff member that feels they need to have their voice heard on a hot topic in the world well look no further, because when it comes to the Constitution Alley anyone can express their first amendment privileges.
Constitution Alley allows students and staff members to post their opinions about many of the issues going on in the world by writing their thoughts and opinions on certain issues chosen by the librarians on boards they hung on the wall outside of the dining hall. The topics featured some of the many issues going on in the world and in our school today, such as the 2016 election, the new cafeteria, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The idea for Constitution Alley, essentially revolved around Constitution day on September 17th which encouraged the students and staff to use their first amendment right of free speech.
“We’re doing this to celebrate Constitution Day,” explained Activities Director Jae Steinkuhler “And this is one thing we do to show that you do have a freedom of speech. We do this anonymously because I’m sure people have certain opinions that they don’t want expressed out loud and it gives all students — not just U.S citizens but all students — to have an opinion on topics from all over the world.”
The Library has done this every year for the past eight years and has generated lots of discussion with students. Going from starting in 2008 with Barack Obama and John McCain running for president to 2016 with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton running, Constitution Alley has come a long way. As far as what topics to choose from it really could be anything.
Steinkuhler went on to explain that “We try to get topics that are relevant and as close to Constitution Day as possible. Of course we had to put the election in there because there is no way around that, but we also try to find a couple that are obscure such as the pipeline protest.”
She also pointed out that they don’t avoid controversial topics so the Alley also includes Black and Blue Lives Matter which should certainly get a lot of opinions.
“There are also some fun topics that everybody will have an opinion on like the remodeling of the dining hall,” she said. “That’s something new that just happened and it’s something that everyone who walks by the dining hall will see.”
Austin Francis, a senior here at Missouri Valley, was one of the students who wrote on the board. When asked about Constitution Alley and whether he felt it was a good idea to help people voice their opinions, Francis simply said “Yeah it’s a great idea. Everyone has their right to an opinion, and it’s great to see everyone’s different sides and to get people to talk and see where they stand.”