Students at UNA come together to raise awareness of KONY campaign

Posters sit in the Invisible Children offices. The posters were created in an effort to raise awareness of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. College campuses around the world are holding events to help the Invisible Children organization raise awareness of its campaign.

UNA students have been inspired to get involved in the national movement through Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 campaign by planning their own local “Cover the Night” event.

UNA’s event is still in the planning stages, said student Jon McCoy. Right now, there are plans for a table in the GUC and Towers Cafeteria April 19 and 20.

The KONY 2012 campaign started with a viral video urging Americans to help Invisible Children stop Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Africa. The video has more than 91,000 “likes” on the social media site Facebook. The video received more than 60 million views from March 7 to 9, according to the United Nations website.

Kony is the leader of the LRA, founded more than 20 years ago in Uganda. The LRA is made up of children, almost all of whom are abducted and beaten into submission, according to

McCoy said the KONY 2012 video made him sad when he first watched it.

“My first thoughts were just grief and discomfort,” he said. “I was just sitting at my desk looking at the children and what they went through, and I felt burdened because I know from time to time I get caught up thinking my life isn’t so great, when in reality I’m truly blessed to live in a country like this.”

Though McCoy didn’t know who Kony was before seeing the video, he said the video made him want to help in any way possible.

Student Lee Cain thought the video fell short in terms of its severity.

“I didn’t think it was quite as bold as they could have made it, to be honest,” he said. “I mean, it was pretty atrocious, but I’ve heard a lot more horrible stories about it. I’ve heard of women getting their boobs cut off so they can’t feed their babies, dudes getting their noses and ears and hands cut off and forced to eat them and stuff.”

Cain said the video is misleading because it makes it seem like this is going on in Uganda currently, though Kony has not been active in Uganda since 2006.

“But you’ve also got to realize the LRA is in another country now,” he said “So, yeah, you pushed them out of Uganda, but now it’s somebody else’s problem. So, I guess the focus should have shifted from Uganda to where the LRA is now.”

McCoy said while Kony may not still be in Uganda, the people affected by the LRA are.

Both McCoy and Cain said they plan to participate in the “Cover the Night” event at UNA. Though they said they don’t believe the event will change the world, they think it’s important to get the word out about Kony.

“I don’t really know that there’s any kind of solution to the problem, but I just think if Congress is going to sit around and talk about baseball, they might as well talk about African warlords,” Cain said.