Phoenix, Arizona
September 15, 2021

As Constitution Day approaches on September 17, 2021, Southwestern Assemblies of God University American Indian College (SAGU AIC) is proud to encourage this significant day and the impact of this event in U.S. history.

Dr. Joseph J. Saggio, Administrative Dean of SAGU AIC, says, "Constitution Day is especially important to a campus with a high percentage of Native Americans because in the past many Native Americans were marginalized and disenfranchised from the voting process.  In effect, the Constitution didn't mean anything to many of them, but today that has changed."

SAGU AIC encourages its faculty, staff and students to be familiar with the Constitution and the rights it contains for all Americans in order to be well-informed citizens of the United States of America.

Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004, when Senator Robert Byrd passed a bill designating September 17 as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and learn more about our founding document. Senator Byrd once said, “Our ideals of freedom, set forth and realized in our Constitution, are our greatest export to the world.” He added the Constitution Day clause to his 2004 federal spending bill because he believed that all citizens should know about their rights as outlined in the Constitution. This clause mandates the teaching of the Constitution in schools that receive federal funds, as well as federal agencies.

The main purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to establish the basic rights of all American citizens and provide direction on how the government should work. The Constitution also provides the framework for law and order and describes the roles of the government's federal judiciary branchlegislative branch and executive branch. The Constitution officially took effect on Sept. 17, 1787, during the Philadelphia Convention and has been amended 27 times since its adoption.

The first 10 amendments of the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. The U.S. Constitution consists of a preamble, seven original articles and 27 amendments. The first three articles of the Constitution define the role of the president as the head of the government, the Supreme Court as the administrator of the judicial branch and the role of the bicameral Congress within the legislative branch of the government.The Constitution officially took effect on September 17, 1787, and has since been amended a total of 27 times. The main purpose of this document is to establish the rights of all American citizens and to provide direction regarding the function of the Government. The Constitution provides the framework for law and order. It also describes the roles of each of the government’s federal branches: Judiciary, Legislative and Executive.

The Bill of Rights was composed by James Madison in response to call from several states for greater constitutional protection. The Bill of rights is focused on individual liberties of U.S. citizens while also listing specific prohibitions on governmental power.

While the Bill of Rights may be the most well-known section of this document, the Constitution and its amendments as a whole define civil liberties such as:

  • freedom of religion
  • speech
  • to assemble and petition

The Constitution also provides citizens the right to:

  • possess firearms
  • a public trial for criminal offenses
  • to question unusual punishment
  • to question property seizures and arrests without a warrant

The Constitution of the United States is available online at http://constitutionus.com/

We at SAGU-AIC encourage everyone to be familiar with the Constitution and the rights it contains for all Americans in order to be a better-informed individual.  We also encourage you to exercise your right to register to vote and to vote for the candidate(s) of your choice!

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) American Indian College (AIC) is the nation’s only private Christian college serving primarily Native American students. Established in 1957, AIC now serves nearly 25 tribes as well as other ethnicities.

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Southwestern Assemblies of God University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the SACSCOC at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Southwestern Assemblies of God University.