The indie-rock band Vampire Weekend is providing an extra incentive for college across the country competing in the ONE Campaign Challenge.
The band could perform a free show on campus in mid-April if the the University’s chapter of the ONE Campaign wins the competition. The ONE Campaign is a non-profit organization focused on ending global AIDS and poverty. The University’s chapter is currently among the top 10 competitors.
The ONE Campus Challenge is a competition in which college students across the country attempt to raise awareness of extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
In the first round of the program, the organization’s national headquarters gave each of the thousands of competing schools a weekly challenge, like calling as many congressmen as possible and planning an event for World AIDS Day. The top 10 schools accumulated the most points from winning these challenges.
Each of the top 10 schools will receive a $1,000 grant from the group’s national headquarters to be used toward an event to raise awareness on campus.
The grants will be used to “build a project, program or event that draws attention to the global crisis of poverty and disease, inspires people to action and helps build the political will to encourage elected leaders to support the proven solutions to these problems,” according to a press release from ONE’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
LSA sophomore Stephanie Parrish, campus leader of the University’s ONE chapter, said she thinks raising awareness of global poverty issues on college campuses should be the first step toward improving such situations.
“I think it’s really important to first just raise awareness because a lot of students don’t really understand what’s going on, and then give them the tools so they can take action themselves,” she said. “And I think the campaign does a really good job of doing that.”
The University’s ONE chapter plans to hold its event the week of Mar. 25, though plans are still in the beginning stages, Parrish said. The theme of the event will be “One Step at a Time.”
Parrish said activities are likely to include a Diag Day with activities like a barefoot walk to raise awareness of life in poverty, petitions, live music that relates to the theme and a candlelight vigil to remember lives lost.
“The Diag Day is really geared just to make everyone aware of what we’re doing, get the word out there, and have some fun,” she said.
ONE President and CEO David Lane said the challenge engages students in international aid efforts.
“The ONE Campus Challenge is ONE’s effort to empower, inform and mobilize the next generation of social justice activists,” wrote in a press release. “The students’ energy, idealism and creativity are unmatched, and they are accomplishing great things on campuses across the nation.”
Parrish said she thinks the University’s caring student body will improve its chances of winning the competition.
“I think U of M is just a great campus in that we’re so spirited and we love our school and everyone has their own kind of passions and ideas,” she said. “And I think that having such a large, caring, liberal student body is going to be really helpful.”
The other top 10 schools are Wright State University, Sacred Heart University, Baylor University, University of Southern California, University of California at Davis, Webster University, Curry College, Wofford College and University of Florida.