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After six months, tens of thousands of phone calls and letters to Congress and the presidential candidates, and after hundreds of events on campuses across the U.S. to raise awareness of extreme poverty and preventable disease, the Campbellsville University ONE Chapter has earned a spot in the Top Ten of the ONE Campus Challenge.
CU competed against more then 1,400 schools in the United States and earned a Top 10 position by points accumulated in the first two rounds of the OCC, a nationwide competition that provided students the necessary tools to organize on campus, talk to elected officials and increase awareness of extreme poverty and preventable disease.
"Campbellsville University students have proven their commitment to servant leadership by their involvement in this organization. I am proud of every student and faculty and staff member who took the initiative in creating and participating in this group on campus and succeeding in this challenge," Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said.
Campbellsville University earned points in the challenge through a variety of actions, including forming a ONE Chapter. The purpose of the chapter is to increase activism on campus, and to eventually take their concerns directly to their local elected leaders to increase support from the government.
In its first 12 hours, the OCC signed up new members on more than 1,000 college campuses across the U.S.
"The ONE Campus Challenge is a game changer. The innovation, energy and ideas that America's young people bring to the movement are making America's leaders pay attention. These amazing young voices are saying loudly that they want their next president to go to Africa and make ending suffocating poverty and preventable diseases a top priority. I have been in wonder at the commitment and creativity they have shown, and can't wait to see which school earns the top spot," David Lane, president and CEO of ONE, said.
"Over the past few months, I've gotten to know the president of Campbellsville University's ONE Chapter, Andrea Lawler, and the rest of the team as they have worked, week after week, to make the end of extreme poverty a reality. Their potential to create real change is thrilling. They have relentlessly placed calls to members of Congress, asking them to support critical legislation that will relieve the suffering of the world's poorest," Lane said.
"The Campbellsville ONE Chapter educated other student groups about these issues, reached out to local media, recruited faculty to join them in raising the volume on these issues on campus and signed a petition to ask the next president of the United States to commit to going to Africa within the first four years of taking office."
Other schools in the top ten are: Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass.; George Washington University, Washington D.C.; Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.; Kansas State University; Princeton University; Sacred Heart University; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Western Kentucky University; and Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio.
Each school in the Top 10 earned a $1,000 grant to create a major poverty-fighting initiative on campus. The groups have five weeks to create their project, and at the end of March, every ONE member will have the opportunity to vote on which of the final ten they consider the most effective and impressive. The projects will also be ranked by a panel of experts.
The school with the best project, as determined by the nationwide vote and panel ranking, will be honored as the university among more than one thousand nationwide that has done the most to advance the fight against poverty over the course of the school year. The winning school will also receive an on-campus performance.
ONE was launched in September 2007, and since then has rewarded students for reaching milestones as the OCC progresses, which has encouraged participation. ONE's use of the Internet has given students an increased level of organization and involvement in the program.
The ONE campaign is a grassroots advocacy organization rallying people to fight the emergency of extreme poverty and global disease. ONE is millions of people working with more than 150 of the leading relief, humanitarian and advocacy organizations to build the political will to combat debilitating poverty and preventable diseases.
For more information, visit www.one.org.