Annual fair educates students on voting, financial aid and constitutional rights


Associated Students Organization Council Member Makayla Propst gives out pizza to students at the Constitution Day and Financial Aid Fair. The event is held annually at El Camino College on Sept. 17, which is the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Juan Miranda/The Union

Birthday decorations, informational pamphlets, pizza and prizes decorated tents and tables at the Constitution Day and Financial Aid Fair on the Library Lawn on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Put together by the Associated Students Organization (ASO) and the Student Development Office, the event presented students with information on constitutional rights, voter registration and financial aid.

“Our main [goal] is not just promoting our organization or ASB sticker, but how important the Constitution is and why we even celebrate this day, what it’s done for our rights and what that means for each individual,” ASO Council Member Makayla Propst said.

Constitution Day is celebrated annually on Sept. 17, which marks the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution and historical efforts to mobilize and register voters, Propst said.

“Everybody should know their rights and what [they mean],” Propst said. “Knowing your rights is going to be what keeps you from getting taken advantage of.”

ECC’s Financial Aid Department also presented at the event and informed students on the upcoming 2020 to 2021 FAFSA and Dream Act applications.

Financial Aid Student Services Specialist Maria Ehrlich said she appreciated the opportunity to give students information about financial aid.

“It’s important to give students information and that we get to do it in a fun atmosphere,” Erhlich said.

The League of Women Voters (LWV), which serves the areas of Torrance, Carson, Gardena and Lomita, helped students with registering to vote.

Terry Furey, an LWV board member, said that college students need to register to vote and mobilize, since women, with a similar mission to those in the LWV, fought hard to lower the voting age to 18.

“It’s important to let the youth know about an organization that is non-partisan [and that] supports and promotes their right to vote,” Furey said.

Furey also said it is important for similar organizations to engage and interact with students, as they assume this type of interaction to be a significant obligation.

“If you want a say in the system you’re living in,” LWV member Sharon Alexander said, “you need to access your right to vote. You need to say your piece and this is the way.”

Jason Limon, computer information systems major, said the food, prizes and music caught his attention but he stopped by booths to find out more about the U.S. Constitution’s history.

“It’s important to learn about the Constitution,” Limon said. “We [Americans] are meant to help each other, not be against each other.”