Students consider, amend current U.S. Constitution

When the United States was established as an independent nation, the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution as a framework for governing the new country.

The Constitution came into force in 1789. From the start, those who outlined this system started to alter and add to it. From 1791, when the First Amendment was ratified, to today, there have been 27 amendments added to the U.S. Constitution.

Since the Constitution is the supreme law of the United States, an amendment that is ratified changes the country as a whole.

So, with all this power in mind, if you could add an amendment to the Constitution, what would it be? Students and professors alike had many different answers.

“I think I’d first want to add the long-dead Equal Rights Amendment guaranteeing equal treatment under the law for all genders,” said Sarah Estow, associate professor of psychology.

The ERA was first proposed in 1923. Although there have been many attempts to get it ratified, it still remains a proposal, not an amendment.

The idea of equal rights for men and women, specifically in the workplace, was also echoed by first-year Hannah Billen.

“Equal pay for equal work (is a good idea),” said Billen. “Racial and gender based wage gaps are bulls—.”

Nondiscriminatory ideas frequently cropped up in amendments proposed by students.

“I would add onto the First Amendment to clarify what freedom of speech is and how it protects speech but may tie into anti-discrimination,” said sophomore Caitlyn Councilman. “Or (I would) add an anti-discriminatory amendment that addresses the rights of all genders and nonconformity.”

There were ideas on workers’ rights.

“I would love to add something that would ensure that businesses recognize their employees as humans and understand the fluctuations in the marketplace and adjust wage according to these fluctuations,” said senior Ward Sandberg. “This also goes along with benefits that employees receive as well. It would ignore all racial, gender or sexual differences.”

Similarly, first-year Ramya Krishna said she would add an amendment guaranteeing the right to employment.

“If the American Dream is achieved by everyone being able to rise by hard work, then no matter what your circumstances are, you should be able to find a job that can sustain you,” said Krishna.

Reflecting on recent events, sophomore Kaledo Ota wants to ban guns from civilians.

“With that law, I believe there will a low death rate among the civilians and also with the police with everything that is going on right in this country,” said Ota. “At least with that law, the police won’t have too much fear about civilians being armed when they are being stopped.”