Event to bring about AIDS awareness

Student organizer and sophomore international communications major Chad Sluder said the three goals of today’s “Lives are on the Line” AIDS event were donations, lobbying and awareness.

Today is the 21st annual World AIDS Day. Through the event he planned at TCU, Sluder said he hoped to raise money to donate to the World Vision program in Zambia. He said World Vision is a nonprofit that organizes programs and fundraisers to help international communities suffering from various illnesses.

Sluder said ACT:S, the national college campus group connected to World Vision, helped him decide on the “Lives are on the Line” event planned for today.

Volunteers for the event will hang clothes lines around campus and attach necklaces with pictures of children affected by AIDS on the lines, he said. The idea is that students who pass by the display will be interested enough to stop and talk to a volunteer and will be willing to wear a necklace the rest of the day, Sluder said.

The program in Zambia run by World Vision, he said, works to prevent the transmission of AIDS from mothers to their children through breast feeding. He said to do so, powdered milk is provided to participants.

“They’ve had success preventing the mother to child transmission so we’re going to try to give people the opportunity to give to support that project then maybe they can expand their work,” Sluder said.

The second goal of Sluder’s AIDS Day event, lobbying, was intended to influence U.S. congressional representatives to vote to give more money to international AIDS assistance. Sluder said volunteers stationed at the clothes lines will provide information on how to contact representatives. This should push members of Congress to vote for the full monetary amount available for international AIDS assistance.

“We’re trying to get people this AIDS Day to call their Congress (representatives) to lobby and say … ‘This is important, we want you to give the full $7.2 billion this year to prevent transmission and help care for the people who already have AIDS,'” he said.

The third part of Sluder’s plan was to make students care. He said he wanted to make people realize how big the AIDS problem is, and also to inform them on an individual level through the pictures of children on each necklace.

Sluder said he wanted participants to “…take it to heart so that that will inspire people to take some sort of action, to educate themselves, to think about what they can do, to be creative.”

His eventual goal is to create a TCU division of ACT:S in the coming year. In order to hold the AIDS Day event today however, a TCU organization had to sponsor the event.

Junior communication studies major Timothy Wang helped his friend Sluder find a sponsor.

Wang, a member of International Christian Fellowship, said he thought sponsoring the “Lives on the Line” event would help ICF promote key themes of its organization.

Wang cited James 2:26, which reads, “faith without deeds is dead.”

“We say can that we believe this and that, but if we don’t do anything then it really doesn’t mean much,” Wang said.

AIDS Day is all about awareness, Wang said.

“It’s about understanding what’s going on in the rest of the world and it’s also an opportunity to get involved and to actually work to improve the situation,” he said. “It sounded like a really neat opportunity to put faith in action, and that’s why we got behind it as well.”

“Lives are on the line”

Pick up a necklace of a child affected by AIDS to raise awareness for the disease and pick up information on how to contact congressional representatives.

When: From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Outside the library and Outside the BLUU on the Commons side

Open to all students