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STAND highlights tragedy in Darfur

By Marc Speir
University News Service
April 18, 2008

Students Taking Action Now for Darfur (STAND) at Texas State University-San Marcos will be hosting an event promoting the awareness on campus about the genocide occurring in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

There will be a fast to protest the genocide in Darfur all day on Monday, April 21. The Texas State community is encouraged to give up at least one luxury item like coffee, soda or candy and donate that money towards health initiatives in the region.

Donation tables will be set up in the quad and mall areas from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be live music outside the LBJ Student Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds will go to the International Medical Corps in Darfur. The money will provide medical supplies in refugee camps for those that have been driven from their homes.

Sara Simmons, vice-president of STAND, says the genocide is not covered enough in the mainstream press.

“It’s getting more (coverage) than it used to…there are some celebrities that talk about it,” said Simmons. “But no, I don’t think it gets the attention it deserves.”

Since 2003, the Sudanese government has been alleged of supporting an ethnic cleansing campaign in Darfur. According to the United Nations, the death toll in Darfur exceeds 200,000, while more than 2 million have been driven from their homes.

More than 200,000 have crossed the border to neighboring Chad, greatly straining the resources of the region due to the massive migration. Thousands die each month from the effects of inadequate food, water, health care and shelter in a harsh desert environment.

Officials from the U.N. have expressed their anger over the situation, but also demonstrated their unwillingness to fully occupy Darfur numerous times in the last five years.

For more information on getting involved, contact Sarah Simmons via email at ss1372@txstate.edu.