Buzz Cuts: Malaria Activism on Campus


I’ve been fielding a number of inquiries on the UN Emergency Peace Service since I threw up a post on it last week. I have been extremely pleased with the reception it’s getting on Capitol Hill and now am very pleased too with how readers of this blog have taken to it.
I know I owe readers an update on the Law of the Sea and I promise there will be one soon.
In the meantime, though, I want to recognize some campus activists who will be campaigning to raise awareness and funds to fight malaria. These individuals were chosen from a large pool of applicants to receive a scholarship from The People Speak. I was at the UN Foundation today to offer some tips on how to carry out pragmatic, effective advocacy on global issues.
The campaigns are as diverse as their coordinators. I wish them the best of luck. Here they are.

Leslie Schweitz, University of Nebraska: Buzzing in the Night: Students collect money to give a “buzz cut” to a professor. The professor raises money to keep his hair. The side with the most money wins!
Lemar Clark, Middlebury College: Midd10 Humanitarian Challenge: This group will hold 10 events over the course of the fall semester to engage different parts of the college community. The whole student body will be divided into teams that will earn points by giving money and participating in educational activities.
Katie Boyce-Jacino, Wesleyan University: Malaria Awareness Week: This school will place educational displays about malaria in high traffic area of campus and hold small events all culminating in a final fundraising party.
Ilham Hassan, University of Southern California: Bed Net Fashion Show: USC will host a fashion show where designers will incorporate nets into their outfits.
Emily Renzelli, West Virginia University: Bite Back: This group will create an awareness campaign about malaria. As students complete each of the three activities, they will receive a bracelet. One will say “B” for believe, the next will say “U” for understand, and the final one will say “G” for give – all spelling out BUG!
Patricia Hester, University of Tennessee: Malaria Awareness Step Show: Tennessee campus has hosted very popular step contests with sororities, fraternities and a dance company in past years. Capitalizing on the popularity of previous step shows, the group will educate attendees about malaria and use the revenue from ticket sales to buy nets.
Amy Hamblin, Northwestern: Labor Day Beach Volleyball Tournament: This tournament has a twist – volleyballs will be painted to look like mosquitoes! Teams will raise money and donate it to buy bed nets.
Cecilia McDonald, Boston College: The Bed Net Ball: The alcohol-free events committee will cosponsor an evening event with film-screenings, decorations made from nets, and a lot of students having fun. Ticket sales will go to the purchase of bed nets.
Molly McGravey, Allegheny College: Parents Weekend Nothing But Nets Events: This group will organize a series of events, including a 5K race during parents weekend to help support their growing campaign against malaria.
Recca Buckwalter-Poza, Harvard University: Net ’em and Bug ’em: Volunteers in mosquito costumes will walk around campus “biting” people, while others in net suits are visibly immune. This public dramatization will be followed by a presentation about malaria and a fundraising pitch to students and faculty.
Alison Case, DePauw University: Knitting for Nets: Using a popular Monday “knit night” club, presentations will educate knitters about malaria and they will then knit scarves to sell for $10 a piece. Each scarf will include information about Nothing But Nets and malaria.
Cymone Bedford, Wells College: Malaria Awareness Carnival: This Africa-themed carnival will focus on ten pieces of information about malaria, including 10 mosquito-suited volunteers stopping students, informing them about a statistic and giving them a sticker proving that they now know about that piece of information and are then responsible for sharing it with others who ask.

— Scott Paul


5 comments on “Buzz Cuts: Malaria Activism on Campus

  1. Molly McGravey says:

    Americans are helping Americans by demonstrating that ordinary people can do amazing things. Empowerment is key, and college students are proving this! Help is needed all around the globe. We are global citizens and we all are great because we all can contribute to making a difference in the world, no matter where or how!
    be inspired, change the world…you are the only one that is stopping you!


  2. JohnH says:

    Liz–I can relate to your comments. My wife and I both contracted Lyme disease and my dog as well. My experience is that pretty much everything the medical profession and public health officials tell you about the disease is wrong. It’s an insidious agent that does not necessarily disappear with brief treatment, even if you catch it early.
    That said, my understanding is that malaria infestations can be controlled. What’s sorely lacking is money and political will. Developing a vaccine would be nice, too, but Big Pharma is not interested in investing in tropical countries populated by people who can’t pay.
    Why they don’t understand and solve the Lyme mystery is beyond me.


  3. TLittle says:

    Also, Americans for Informed Democracy deserve some credit for pushing campus organizations to fight this problem through their “veto the Squito” campaign.


  4. liz says:

    I hate to rain on every single parade today but malaria? I do understand malaria is a problem throughout the globe . I do believe every single human being deserves medical attention. I wish however that Americans would help other Americans lacking medical care. Americans with Lyme Disease cannot get treatment in America. The doctors that treat Lyme Disease are being harassed unmercifully by state licensing authorities. Patients are going without care for a spirochete people.
    Tuskegee…. spirochete….. syphilis…. contagious…. epidemic…. presidential orders for quarantine on a whim…. spirochetes…..
    Americans… please help Americans too. And you may want to hope or pray you don’t get a tick bite.


  5. JohnH says:

    Sad that the malaria fighters have to have bake sales and resort to stunts to promote such a just cause. Any idea how many days of Iraq War funding it would take to virtually eliminate malaria?


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