SGA awards $200 to WKU’s Invisible Children after debate

Taylor Harrison

The KONY 2012 campaign has stirred up debate nationwide, and WKU is no exception.

The Student Government Association passed a bill Tuesday night that will allocate $200 to WKU’s chapter of Invisible Children for the upcoming “Cover the Night” event.

The event, which will take place at 9 p.m. in the Mass Media Auditorium on Friday, aims to raise awareness of Joseph Kony by covering the WKU campus and downtown with fliers about Kony.

Invisible Children is a national campaign that began in 2004 to help aid in the capture of Kony as well as to provide awareness of the situation in Uganda. Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, is accused of forcing children into his army, sexual slavery, and terrorizing Uganda and the surrounding region.

The latest video production from the group, “KONY 2012,” was uploaded March 5 and has already been viewed 87 million times on YouTube.

The stated goal of the video is to ensure that the United States maintains its presence in Africa until Kony, and the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel militant group, is captured.

But some senators didn’t feel that this bill was the best use of senate money.

The first student senator to express an issue with the bill was Poorvie Patel.

“The money that everybody donates to this organization, it simply goes towards just like, media and publicizing it,” Patel said. “It’s not going to Africa…I don’t want to sound inhumane at all, but this organization — there’s more to it than what they show.”

Patel said that despite publicizing what goes on in Africa, the organization doesn’t actually do anything to stop it.

Daniel Shaw, an SGA senator, said he agreed with Patel, while senator Christopher Costa pointed out that SGA didn’t necessarily have to agree with a student organization in order to support it.

The bill’s author, Keyana Boka, said that the funding SGA is providing will go toward posters, flyers and whatever else is needed for the event.

“This is a student organization and as Student Government Association, we support all student organizations overall,” Boka said. “Everyone has their beliefs, their opinions.”