Veishea puts the kibosh on Cover the Night

Megan Swindell

The Kony 2012 video created by Jason Russell inserted a follow-up date into the campaign to keep people active. It may be easy to push ‘share’ on Facebook or tweet about the messages in the film, but the question was whether or not the viewers would take action.

Russell planned for April 20 to serve as a date of reminder and awareness through the plastering of posters of Joseph Kony all around the world over night — Cover the Night.

Scott Larson, senior in English, teamed up with ISUganda to do just that, but the action taken will not be in the form that Russell had planned or the way that Larson and ISUganda planned, for that matter.

“The Cover the Night event, as far as ISUganda is concerned, has changed dramatically,” Larson said. “To comply with both ISU policy and Veishea, we are not officially posting posters.” 

“We were given two alternate options: participating in Veishea Village or the Veishea parade,” said President of the ISUganda student organization, Christine Lim, senior in biology. “The only way we get to do our thing is if we benefit Veishea in the process.”

Larson and Lim had planned for students to meet outside of the Memorial Union at 11:30 p.m., and from there the organized gathering would put up posters for Kony 2012 all over campus.

“Campus rules are that you can’t just poster like that,” said George Micalone, Veishea general adviser. “You can only post on designated, approved boards.”

The ISU movement was given the option of putting up the posters on these designated boards only to find out “Veishea had rented all the sign boards this week,” Lim said.

Protesters are not exactly known for always following the rules. But if students were to plaster the campus in posters anyway, they would not have a large window of opportunity to do so.

“We didn’t know if it was the best use of both our resources,” said B.J. Brugman, Veishea general co-chairman. “We do campus clean-up every night throughout the week.”

“They are meeting at 11:30 p.m. and we are cleaning at 12 a.m., so there would really be no point in posting,” Micalone said. “We have the responsibility to make sure that campus is clean for the Veishea parade.”

In an effort to keep the movement alive, Larson and ISUganda have made alternative plans for the campaign.

“On advice from many people, including Bobby Bailey [co-founder of Invisible Children], we are moving to a letter writing campaign,” Larson said.

The event will be held Friday, April 20, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Free-Speech Zone outside the library.

“Hopefully this will be an opportunity for ISU students to make real steps in the effort to stop Kony,” Larson said. “Writing a congressperson is an effective and real way to participate in this effort.”

“If students want to post that evening, we ask that they do it in a tasteful way that complies with ISU policy,” Larson said. “A mess of posters posted the wrong way, in the wrong places and possibly littering the ground on Veishea on Saturday would reflect poorly on the movement.”