As a new academic year begins, students look forward to getting involved with various campus clubs and organizations. There are many groups to choose from and selecting the right club or organization can sometimes be a daunting experience.
ONE at UCI is a non-profit and advocacy campus organization that works mainly with eliminating extreme poverty and preventable diseases particularly in Africa. Their website states, “Although the organization is aimed particularly towards Africa, we are an organization looking to bring awareness to world hunger around the globe.”
ONE classifies itself as a grassroots movement that is part of a larger national organization.
The national ONE organization is structured into a series of action-oriented challenges. This ranges from signing up new members to hosting full scale events. This gives each university chapter the opportunity to spread the word about extreme poverty and put their ideas into action. Every year, the challenges revolve around a particular theme. This year is home to two themes, “Energize Africa,” which has been done in the past and “An AIDS free world.”
The top schools from each of the challenges will receive prizes from the national ONE organization in order to encourage and help them amplify their voice in the fight against extreme poverty.
ONE at UCI started off in 2011 and is continues to grow in its third year on campus. At the beginning of each year, each ONE chapter receives a “Campus Challenge” where they are assigned certain tasks and are awarded points for successfully completing the tasks.
ONE at UCI president Linda Huynh, a second year public health sciences major, got involved her first year here at UCI. “I heard about it through Facebook and then visited their booth at the Anteater Involvement Fair. I went there initially for the free T-shirt,” Huynh laughed.
“The club was really small and there were only the board members, myself and two other general members. During the third and fourth weeks, we started having icebreakers and that’s when we got to know everyone very well.”
“ONE at UCI is also a community service organization,” Huynh added. “Last year we volunteered at a senior center as well as a local soup kitchen.”
Since the national organization runs on a semester system, timing is a little off with our quarter system. ONE at UCI focuses on challenges throughout the duration of fall quarter and shifts their focus to volunteering and community services during winter and spring quarters.
Despite their small but growing numbers and scheduling conflict, ONE at UCI still ranks second in the nation.
“This is really huge [for us] because last year’s club president told me how we were usually ranked 60th or 70th as this is such a new chapter,” Huynh said.
In their latest general meeting, ONE at UCI was able to gain 2,825 points because of their “Race to Advocacy” challenge. The “Race to Advocacy” challenge was unique to UCI and done in order to fulfill Campus Challenge 2. The “Race to Advocacy” was the answer to UCI’s Challenge. Their goal was to grab the attention garner more political advocacy of their Energize Africa Act. Members called and wrote letters to Senators Brown and Feinstein in efforts to have them co-sponsor the Energize Africa Act. The club also made murals and posters to put up on various locations across campus.
This latest meeting was the largest meeting so far this year, with over 30 people coming in to support the cause.
“It is small compared to the other clubs on campus and this helps you get to know the people better and also interact and get to know the Board members better,” said Huynh. “[We’ve become a] huge family and [so] close knit. It is wonderful to see so many students get involved this year and come out to our meetings. It makes me very happy and excited,” beamed Huynh.
ONE at UCI doesn’t have membership fees and is open for anyone who is interested in getting involved on campus and would like to fight for a social cause. It is all for ONE and ONE for all!