A Clark University student team made it into the top ten among groups from more than 3,000 colleges and universities to take part in this year’s ONE Campus Challenge, a friendly competition to determine which university’s student body has the most effective poverty-fighting campaign.
Siobhan Kelley ’12, a member of the team, explained that earned points based on actions such as signing up a friend for the OCC club, having someone sign a petition or holding an event. “One example of how Clark got points was for our World AIDS Day event in December,” Kelley said. “More than 200 people came for free food, performances by Clark groups and to learn about the global AIDS pandemic. Our event was such a success that we won for Best World AIDS Day event out of all of the participating OCC schools.”
The Clark OCC group includes Kelley, Jessica Richland ’11, Kelly Wynveen ’11, Jessie Risman ’13, Will Colan ’12, Lissa Levine ’13, David Gross ’13 and Katherine Rothschild ’12.
The ONE Campus Challenge is part of ONE, a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization backed by more than 2 million people who, according to the organization’s website, are committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Cofounded by celebrity musician/activist Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African policy makers and activists.
The top 10 schools participating in the ONE Campus Challenge were asked to make a three- to five-minute video about one of ONE’s focus issues. The Clark group video shows what the campus community was doing to help mothers and children in the developing world.
The video competition was won by the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor team.
According to Kelley, the group circulated a petition about President Obama’s proposed Foreign Affairs Budget and held a “calling party” where Clark students urged their representatives to support the budget. “We also made a trip to Congressman James McGovern’s office in Worcester and, though we were not able to meet with him, we were able to leave him information about ONE,” Kelley said. “He even e-mailed us about our video.”
Associate Professor Jude Fernando, Clark’s OCC advisor, said that he was proud to present the OCC video in his class. “I found the ONE Campus students to be a most creative and intelligent bunch. I was really impressed with their work.”
“Though we didn’t win,” Kelley said, “we proved what a passionate community Clark is and how such a small school really can make an impact. Clark OCC is a club with about seven members, yet we were able to really do something amazing because of the support of the Clark community.”