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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Constitution symposium to address leakers, whistleblowers

In recognition of Constitution Day, the Wiley Lecture Series will host a Constitution Day Symposium on the topic of “leakers” and whistleblowers.
Lecturer Ronald Sievert from the Texas A&M Bush School of Public Policy will open the symposium with a lecture on people who spill government secrets to the public and the constitutional threat that people like Edward Snowden impose on the balance between national security and liberty.
The discussion will broaden with the second lecture by John Attanasio from Southern Methodist University regarding the constitutional rights of whistleblowers, or people who expose illegal activity happening within organizations.
“It is the people’s job to make sure that the government upholds the values of the constitution,” Attanasio said. “When someone sees an unconstitutional and immoral act being done, it can be seen as their duty to bring it to light.”
Attanasio said he will in no way defend the actions of whistleblowers but will instead bring to light the rights they have.
“For the Constitution to be effective, the document must be embodied in the heart and mind of the citizens in which it affects,” Attanasio said. “This is why it is so vital to remind our citizens, especially college students, about the document in which our country is shaped.”
The symposium is one of six programs put on each year by the Wiley Lecture series.
“It’s easy to forget, while rushing from class to class, just how much our Constitution affects us and our country’s response to foreign events,” said Haley Mathews, the 2014 Constitution Day Symposium director and a political sence junior. “This symposium is to act as a reminder to our student body.”
Constitution Day events will happen around campus Wednesday and continue throughout the week. The George Bush Presidential Library will give away pocket Constitutions to the first 50 students who visit Wednesday. Local television stations will also play programs on the creation of the Constitution.
The Symposium will begin at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday in MSC Room 1400. The event is free and open to the public.

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