Kony 2012: Mason Making One Man Famous; Actually, Infamous




These hashtags have been floating around social media sites like Facebook and Twitter since Tuesday, March 5, when Invisible Children, a charity whose goal is to end the war in Uganda, premiered this short film about a man named Joseph Kony, and how they want him to become a household name:

But before Kony’s name started floating around social media sites, George Mason University’s branch of Invisible Children were already preparing for the premiere.

“We’ve been waiting a long while for this video to go out for the public to view,” said Emily Bonzek, a 20-year-old sophomore from Newport News, Va., studying Integrative Studies. “We’ve raised around $8,000 just this year so that Invisible Children could launch this video and begin the process of nationwide awareness.”

And now that the video has premiered, Mason’s Invisible Children have been receiving the reactions they hoped for.

“So many people have liked our page on Facebook, and have contacted me about becoming a member and ordering the “Cover the Night” kit,” said Carolyn Schorr, a 20-year-old sophomore from Baltimore, Maryland majoring in International Studies. “All we want is awareness; so that now at least people will know about what’s going on in Uganda, and hopefully, they’ll want to do something about it. So far, I think it’s working.”

Students at Mason, who have watched the “Kony 2012” video, are already in a frenzy trying to prepare for “Cover the Night,” an event that will be held on April 20, 2012 where everyone is supposed to cover every public surface they possibly can with posters and other objects in the “Cover the Night” kit.

“I ordered my kit last night, on Wednesday,” said Meghan Capps, a 19-year-old sophomore from Chesapeake, Va., studying Psychology. “I’m just worried it won’t get here in time; I heard shipping is going to take a lot longer than they expected because more people than they expected have already ordered kits.”

Kendall Bilbrey, a 20-year-old senior from Wytheville, Va., studying Integrative Studies and Environmental Science has yet to order her kit, but even if she doesn’t get to order it, there’s more to the “Kony 2012” initiative than one night of awareness.

“The whole point is for us to take action,” said Bilbrey, “so even if I don’t order a kit for April 20, I’m going to call my state representatives, I’m going to tweet and Facebook about it, I’m going to talk to my co-workers about it and most of all: I’m going to make sure that people don’t forget about Kony after April 20.”

“This thing is bigger than one night,” continued Bilbrey, “and I want to make sure that people will still spread the word about Kony until he’s as infamous as Saddam Hussein, and so that we won’t even have to think about helping countries like Uganda when they are facing war.”


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