MSU Cover the Night
by Nourhan Dakroury
They see children running as fast as they can to escape, grasping to that last string of hope they have. They are chased by their worst nightmare, being deprived of their childhood innocence and dreams. Their weak little legs slowly fail to help them run faster and they fall in the hand of their nightmare. They are then given the task to be a nightmare of others and even of their own.
Who are these children? They are the child soldiers that were abducted by Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, who very few people outside of Africa knew about. A month ago a documentary about him came out and was all over the Internet, especially on social networks. The message that the movie wanted to send us is that Kony has to be stopped, and in order to stop him people have to start knowing more about him and what he has done. At the end of the movie, people were asked to go out on the 20th of April to “cover the night,” meaning that people would meet in different cities around the world and spread stickers and flyers of the project Kony2012 all over the place.
This event took place on campus last Friday, April 20. Despite the bad weather, members of Invisible Children at MSU and a few other volunteers gathered at the Rock to start spreading the flyers and stickers around campus and East Lansing.
“I need to do something, I need to be part of this,” said civil engineering sophomore Nicole Morgenstern, “I don’t know what I’m gonna do, might be the very smallest thing ever, but somehow I’m gonna get involved.” After watching the video of Kony 2012, she was wondering why they had never heard about this before.
When the documentary first came out, it was a huge success. People were very enthusiastic about it and were waiting eagerly to cover the night to show solidarity and care for African children. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are not supporting this movement, especially Africans. The main points they made at the discussion of the African Students Union last month were that this portrayal of Africa is stereotypical and that the solution for getting Kony to stop what he’s doing should be a peaceful solution. Sending soldiers and troops is not a peaceful solution.
“There is no reason that they should have to fight this by themselves,” said Morgenstern. She thinks that through sending troops to retrieve Kony and his army we would be closer to achieving world peace.
After going around different halls at MSU spreading flyers and stickers, the youth that gathered to cover the night headed to Snyder Hall to create banners that would also promote Kony around campus.
This movement is not only at MSU, but is going on all around the US. A representative from Invisible Children was among the students to help them with the spreading of the word and the crafting of the banners, but she said that right now they are keeping their interviews minimal and that they just wanted to spread more awareness through their movie screenings and discussions about them.
Some people might think that the MSU cover the night did not go as planned as the large number of students who joined the event on Facebook did not show up on the actual day, it still paid off and student will still see Kony all around campus.
“We do have he tendency to only care for a few minutes, that’s people who didn’t care before,” said Morgenstern, “That’s people who didn’t show solidarity before and eventually more people will stand.” Morgenstern still has faith in the movement although things have obviously cooled off since the release of the movie in March.
The group then left off to start hanging the banners around campus, hoping that students seeing them would care more about the problem of the African child soldiers and that the abducted children would soon be rescued and brought back to their normal lives putting an end to this nightmare.