The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) hosted the ONE Organization White House Bounce House in the Student Center Quad this past Tuesday. ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization that uses this year’s presidential election to bring awareness of extreme poverty and preventable disease. The ONE organization is co-founded by U2’s lead vocalist, Bono.
Dr. Mark Kaelin and Dr. Joseph Donnelly, professors in the department of public health, served as co-advisers for the ONE Chapter at Montclair State.
According to Donnelly, the turnout for the event was “tremendous.” He continued, “Students were bouncing in the largest bounce house in the United States shaped like the White House, and watching various virtual reality movies that documented the reality of living in extreme poverty. Several hundred students signed up to be part of the Montclair University chapter and were interested in how they could be more involved in the organization. Many staff and administration also stopped by and some even took off their shoes and bounced in the White House. Even Rocky, the Montclair State University mascot, kicked off his shoes and was doing the Red Hawk bounce.”
According to the rules of the association, “In order to enter the White House, we believe candidates must have a plan to fight extreme poverty. Participants will take their ballot from the activation station and deliver it directly to the White House—the White House Bounce House, that is—and then ONE Vote will deliver the ballots to the campaign offices. And once they’ve cast their ballots, participants will get to bounce in the giant inflatable White House.”
Mariel Pagan, director of CSI, said “The Center for Student Involvement has made voter registration a top priority. We want to have students register, and when applicable, have them be registered to vote here on campus, so that they begin to develop the habit of voting. They ensure that voters can have significant influence over elections that affect our campus. Through Dr. Joseph Donnelly’s connection to the ONE organization, we were able to bring the ONE Vote 16 caravan to campus for National Voter’s Registration Day. We are hoping this event will capture student’s attention and get them engaged in the process.”
ONE Vote ’16 will help educate voters to “ensure the next president is committed to using the United States’ strategic power to help end extreme poverty and create a safer and more stable world,” according to their mission.