The “Cover the Night” event that was supposed to take place in South Orange this Friday was canceled because materials to “cover” South Orange did not arrive in time. Students are instead encouraged to attend the event in New York City.
Freshman Bridget Walsh, founder of Facebook group “SHU Stops Kony 2012” remarked “Although enthusiasm was big online, there was just not enough people to agree on one course of action.”
“Cover the Night,” which takes place worldwide on April 20, is an event that was created by the Kony 2012 movement, in which participants are encouraged to canvass areas, hanging posters and banners advertising Joseph Kony, the Ugandan warlord.
“Cover the Night” was first introduced in director Jason Russell’s viral video, which was released March 6. Russell, the controversial founder of the Kony 2012 movement, and his organization, Invisible Children, urged viewers to advertise Kony’s identity so that he would be harder for public officials to ignore. Russell stated in the video that Kony was responsible for the death of hundreds/thousands in Uganda, and for enslaving young Ugandan children to fight in his army. In just 30 minutes of film, Russell gave a detailed overview of the horrors Ugandans face at the hands of Kony and his army and explained how people all over the world can stop him.
While Seton Hall students agreed that something had to be done about Kony to help the people of Uganda, few could agree on what course of action to take.
Claire McGuinness, SHU’s Amnesty International president, said this event is important because “Kony 2012 is a unique opportunity for students who haven’t taken part in human rights campaigns before to get involved and may serve as a the impetus for more involvement in human rights issues here on campus.”
“I understand the point of these activities, but people should try a more directly effective method like flooding the phone lines of influential politicians in Washington, D.C.,” junior Paul Murphy said.
Sophomore Samantha Nogueira, founder of Facebook group “South Orange Cover the Night,” faced similar problems, but remained optimistic about why everyone should participate.
“I wanted to call the attention of the student body to the human rights issues going on outside of these Seton Hall gates,” Nogueira said. “Events like the one in town or in New York City could help ignite a fire in inactive students and citizens to support a cause that is more important than the small worries in the average student’s life.”
Christopher Spall can be reached at email@example.com.