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Organizations prompt global change in a minute or less

Nearly 20 student activist organizations attempted to prove that with minimal inconvenience to students’ schedules, the world could be a better place.

At the second annual “Change the World in a Minute or Less” event Thursday, about 120 people signed a pledge promising they will prevent hate crimes by being open-minded, said Lara McDermott, president of People Respecting Individual Diversity and Equality (PRIDE).

At the PRIDE display, four pictures were shown of people who were murdered as a result of hate crimes.

“We had a lot of people who didn’t realize that these brutal crimes actually happened,” said McDermott, a junior majoring in criminology. “I think providing them with the actual statistics and showing them how brutal things can get in terms of our activity, it helps changing their minds and changing their heart.”

Among the students who signed PRIDE’s pledge was Kelsey Burke, a senior majoring in philosophy.

“That minute can have a lasting effect on people,” Burke said. “It makes them more aware of the hate crimes that are going on, and they’ll think twice (before judging) people.”

This was just one of many actions students could take to make a difference in the community or in the world.

The event, which took place in the Marshall Student Center, promoted activism and community service and included 18 other student organizations. The Coalition of Global Justice (CBJ), a network of student organizations, sponsored the event.

The Alliance of Concerned Students (ACS) gave approximately 100 biodegradable pots with basil seeds to attendees, said Sara Alnasur, president of ACS.

“You’re starting a plant that produces oxygen, because all plants produce more oxygen,” said Alnasur, a sophomore majoring in political science. “That way it’ll make it easier for us to breathe on the planet. It’ll make it healthier for you.”

Motorist safety was the focus of the Bull Bikers Association (BBA), which aims to inform motorcyclists and drivers how to share the road safely, said Chad Myers, assistant officer of BBA.

“As opposed to most (organizations’ goals) that you see here, which is (saving) the world, we are more about saving people,” said Myers, a senior majoring in physics.

The BBA’s activity at the event included a trivia game about different aspects of motorcycling.

“The majority of everyone who came through was not familiar with motorcycling. So introducing this to them would be our way of changing the world,” Myers said. “Any time you get someone to stop and think, even just for a moment, you’re succeeding in changing the direction of their life.”