Jeson Souvannarath, ONE Campus Leader at the University of Virginia, shares his chapter’s recent successes that helped UVA take first place in our most recent campaign.
This election season ONE at the University of Virginia has been hard at work for weeks educating the UVA community about the issues of extreme poverty and preventable diseases. From training sessions for our core members to our cohosted debate watch parties, we’ve hit the ground running to make sure Cavaliers are ready to use their voices on behalf of the world’s poorest people.
Because UVA is a very politically active campus, we were eager to get involved with ONE Vote 2012 and to put extreme poverty on the agenda this elections season. With the spirit of politics filling the air, our students showed concern and interest not only in the issues that exist within our country, but also issues like HIV/AIDS, poverty and malaria in developing regions around the world. As part of the ONE Vote 2012 initiative, ONE members nationwide have sent well over 4,500 postcards to the congressional leaders urging them to make extreme poverty a policy priority.
In order for us to make this campaign successful on our campus, members from the UVA chapter organized multiple tabling events and made an appearance at multiple events and functions. The highlight of the postcard campaign was the two postcard writing parties on September 24th and October 1st, where about 200 students learned about foreign aid and took action by signing postcards to Tim Kaine. Every student who signed a postcard showed an appreciation for the opportunity to have their voices heard and for knowing that they were making a difference.
Then last week, ONE members from the University of Virginia made the trip from Charlottesville to Richmond, Va., where we hand-delivered hundreds of postcards to Tim Kaine, Virginia’s democratic candidate for the US Senate. A fellow ONE volunteer in Richmond, Casey Dokoupil, joined us for the delivery. Upon arriving, we were greeted warmly by members of the campaign staff who were very supportive of ONE.
As we handed over the postcards and petition signatures representing the voice of hundreds of ONE members in Virginia, we knew that all our hard work had paid off. It was a great feeling to share these tangible advocacy actions and show Candidate Kaine and his staff that the world’s poorest people cannot be forgotten during this spirited campaign season.
-Jeson Souvannarath ONE Campus Leader at the University of Virginia