The morning of April 20th, midnight, all around the United States, various supporters of Invisible Children participated in the awaited KONY 2012 campaign. The goal was to cover cities in “red”, to bring awareness to the malicious crimes conducted by Kony in Uganda, which included child abductions and killings of civilians. By the looks of various Invisible Children Facebook updates it looks like the campaign was a great success all over the United States. Banners, posters, and even billboards were put up everywhere making the notorious Kony indeed famous. But what happened to UCR?
The event was in fact planned by a group of UCR students. Various students were planning to cover the night at UCR, however, without further action the event had to be canceled. Through Facebook as the means of organizing the event about 300 students said they were going to attend the event. Clearly this was not going to be the case, in fact, approximately 25 students were the few that were serious about covering the night at UCR. However, the university noticed 300 students had R.S.V.P’d and took immediate action in regards to canceling the event and allowing no further action with a day away from the actual night. As the organizer of the event, I had to one day cancel the event and throw away posters that had been made already.
Because of various university rules we must abide too as students there was no further action allowed. Was this really fair? Leopoldo Torres, a current UCR student, had this to say in response to the way we were shut down: “I think the way the dean of students went about telling us what to do was unfair. She told us at the last minute, and threatened the students with fines. If given enough time, I am sure that many students would have gone the length to ensure the posters were school legal. She shut us down and most importantly, she shut off the voices of hundreds of students who were trying to make a difference for children who need help.” Perhaps if we had been informed a few weeks prior this would not have been so drastic. Various students had their posters set and ready and were excited to be part of such a great cause; however, with just a few hours for the night to begin we were all shut down.
As students we understand that we are controlled by a set of rules, however, notice weeks ahead of the event should had been given instead of the night before. The Invisible Children Club at UCR is still taking action by screening the KONY 2012 video May 1st from 7-10 pm in room MSE 116. We somehow have to do our part right? And although we were not allowed to take part in Cover the Night, awareness is still being brought upon our community.