Casey Ruben

Miami University’s campus could soon be the site of a ONE campaign funded concert, featuring appearances from Bono and another surprise artist.

According to the ONE campaign’s Web site, the movement is a non-profit advocacy campaign of more than 2.4 million people, with an emphasis on combating the AIDS epidemic by fighting poverty.

The campaign started its second annual competitive “Campus Challenge.” The Web site encourages college students to spread awareness in a creative way, whether it is blogging about personal experiences with poverty or getting a shot of a school mascot in a ONE T-shirt.

The college or university that has the most points on Dec. 3 will win a performance from a national act on April 20, 2009.

According to the rules and regulations on the Campus Challenge site, the top 10 final schools with the most points will be given a $1,000 budget that they must use to create a school-wide project that calls attention to the ONE campaign. The top 100 schools will be invited to send chapter leaders to an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for a summit on student activism.

The site, equipped with reporting links for accurate tallying and submission, uses a system to award schools points for each action students take to raise awareness on campus.

According to junior Megan Casey, the ONE campaign first made its mark on Miami’s campus during the ONE Vote ’08 campaign.

Casey said she volunteered with hopes of securing a presidential candidate with a foreign affairs policy with similar values as the ONE campaign.

Now that the election has ended, Casey has assembled with fellow Miami students, senior Amanda Beckham and junior Ashley Leonard, to start Miami’s own university and nationally-recognized chapter of the ONE campaign.

Beckham said the group would spread awareness for the issues involved with the ONE campaign.

“We could hold a ONE awareness week … tabling at Shriver or make a ONE CD with lyrics that speak to the issues and then sell them for $5,” Beckham said.

She said the money would be spent to sponsor a child or family in Darfur.

Leonard agreed.

“We really should be able to give it (our good fortune) back,” she said.

Leonard said she thinks that many students at Miami are brought up with privileged backgrounds and it only makes sense to share their good fortune.

According to Associated Student Government (ASG) bylaws, the student organization cannot be recognized until its undergoing review, which is schedule for the ONE campaign on Jan. 15. To become an organization, students must write a constitution and have people in set executive positions.

Beckham said after the first meeting Nov. 10, there were 10 potential new members in addition to the current three, which is a lower number than what she had wished to see.

“But its all starts with ‘one,'” Beckham said.

Beckham said the best way to expand the ONE Campaign group and the campus challenge would be by signing the ONE declaration on ONE.org. To get more information and accurate meeting times and places, she recommended joining the Facebook.com group, “Miami University coming together as ONE!”

According to Beckham, the group already has a faculty adviser in graduate student Amanda Johnston. Leonard and Beckham are the projected co-presidents.

Beckham said until the group becomes acknowledged by ASG, most of its time will be spent racking up points for the campus challenge.

According to the Campus Challenge site, as of Nov. 12, Miami was in 52nd place out of 1,138 ranked schools with 8,220 points.

Ohio State University is in 33rd place with 17,920 points, and the current leader, Wright State University, has 320,040 points.

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