U students help in fight against poverty

By By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

The ONE Campaign hosted its first student summit in Washington, D.C., where students discussed and learned ways to end world poverty and the spread of preventable diseases such as AIDS.

The three-day conference that began Jan. 2 hosted more than 120 students from around the nation, including KereAna Buchanan, a U senior majoring in biology and the U’s ONE chapter leader.

“It was great to really collaborate with the other students and exchange ideas for getting more people involved,” she said.

Buchanan was invited to attend the conference because the U ranks in the top 100 schools in the ONE campus challenge. The U chapter is ranked 62 out of more than 2,000 schools.

“To earn her spot at the conference, KereAna organized her peers to take actions that will create lasting change,” Kimberly Cadena, a press secretary for ONE, said in a written statement. “KereAna is one of many student leaders who will accomplish great things in the coming semester.”

The schools are ranked based on points, which are earned through weekly challenges and recruiting.

“If we can get more people involved, it wouldn’t be impossible for us to win the campus challenge this semester,” Buchanan said.

The U’s ONE chapter was created in the spring of 2007, but it has been difficult to jump-start the group, Buchanan said. Although the chapter’s Facebook and MySpace groups have about 20 members each, a handful of people typically attend the monthly meetings.

“There is a lot of hard work to do,” Buchanan said. “And the more people we have involved, the easier it will be.”

The group tries to complete monthly service projects, including volunteering at a women’s center and helping with children’s health screenings. In addition to service projects, the group is working on raising awareness about poverty and the spread of preventable disease.

This year the ONE Campaign has been working to get presidential candidates to support its cause and get involved if they are elected.

“Getting the government involved is the only way we can eradicate poverty,” Buchanan said.

Students who want to get involved with the ONE Campaign at the U are invited to attend the chapter’s next meeting Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Public Library.

For more information about the ONE Campaign or campus challenge visit www.one.org.

[email protected]