By Jaci Schneider, Copy Editor
Three students visited Taylor University in Indiana last weekend to learn more about AIDS and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.
David Altuna, sophomore biochemistry major from Austin; Denton Josey, junior journalism major from Eustice, Fla.; and Dab Tally, sophomore biology major from Malindi, Kenya, spent their weekend in Upland, Indiana attending classes, listening to lectures and talking with other Christian college students from around the country about the AIDS epidemic and what they can do about it.
“We learned tons of stuff,” Altuna said. “We learned how multifaceted the whole problem is.”
Altuna said the conference encouraged the group, who are all members of Awake 3:18, an AIDS awareness group on campus, about their efforts to promote awareness on campus.
“Stopping AIDS/HIV isn’t something one person or one group can do,” Altuna said. “There’s a variety of ways we can tackle the problem.”
The Students’ Association funded the trip, and the group said it plans to apply what it learned to its campus activities in several different ways.
Awake 3:18 is in the process of trying to organize a social justice Chapel with the International Justice Mission to bring students together on the subject of AIDS.
“It’s about social justice and how we as God’s people are going to deal with that,” Altuna said.
The students also want to have a Chapel forum this semester or next about the epidemic.
Josey said the group is also working to plan fundraisers for an orphanage in Malindi and is thinking about planning a trip to Africa during the summer.
Josey said the purpose of the conference was to “equip student leaders to go back to their campuses and help students fight AIDS and the stigma attached AIDS and problems other countries face.”
He said the conference helped fire up the group about its goals on campus, and Altuna agreed.
“We felt like we were part of the current and flow,” Altuna said. “We’re helping build momentum.”