ONE raises campus awareness

Beth Watson, junior media communications major, signs a letter at the ONE booth, pledging against poverty and preventable diseases. Students asked Tennessee state senators to reconsider cutting humanitarian assistance funding. | Photo by Ebbie Davis

By Ebbie Davis

One idea. One life. One spirit. One movement. One change. One difference.

These are all qualities the ONE campaign addresses to promote awareness against poverty and preventable diseases. Union students are becoming a key constituent in advocating the importance of this group.

ONE is a supporting and campaigning organization, fighting for the “extreme poverty and preventable diseases,” primarily found in Africa by raising awareness through attempting to persuade political figures and governments to help support their cause.

Sarah White, junior art major and ONE president at Union, started the chapter in the fall of 2010, when she decided she wanted to make a change and get the campus involved.

“Since 2007, more than 26,000 students at more than 1,400 colleges and universities signed up to raise awareness and take action against global poverty on their campuses,” White said.

The Union chapter, while only operating for half a year, is doing well with getting recognized compared with the other universities involved. White said Union’s chapter fluctuates in rank every week. The challenge for this year began in February, and since then Union has ranked between fifth and 10th place. This past week they were ranked eighth overall and first place for the week.

“Recently, President Obama proposed the budget on international affairs be dropped,” White said. “U.S. funding for these priorities is already less than one percent of the budget, yet still saves millions of lives and gives even more people the tools to gain self-sufficiency.”

Union ONE students went to the office of Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in Jackson, on Feb. 25, to inform him of their disapointment in the decision to cut humanitarian assistance that fights diseases, extreme poverty and hopelessness around the world. Although the senator was not in Jackson during their visit, they were still able to get their voices heard.

“We really want to get students involved and engaged because students have such a powerful voice and it resonates with their elected officials,” said Michael Fazzino, ONE campus challenge coordinator. “We advocate for the world’s poorest people. We don’t ask for your money, we ask for your time and your voice.”

Fazzino visited Union’s campus Feb. 25 to see what the ONE chapter was doing to gain awareness.

“We’ve been really impressed with Union’s outreach, which is why for a number of reasons we are here,” Fazzino said.

He went with Union’s chapter to Corker’s office to do a petition drop-off. The petition held 1,139 out of approximately 85,000 student signatures from across the campuses in the state of Tennessee. They also dropped off 150 letters written and signed by Union students concerning these same issues.

Sign ups to learn about the chapter are available at the official Union ONE website, www.one.org/campus, or find a ONE representative and ask how to get involved.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.