President Clinton Announces the Launch of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative University Commitments “Bracket” Challenge
March 20, 2012
The “bracket” features student Commitments to Action, representing 16 college and universities and addressing some of today’s most pressing challenges
New York, NY – Today, President Bill Clinton announced the launch of the second annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Commitment Challenge, a competition of ideas from college and university students in the form of a “bracket.” This year more than 1,000 students from around the world representing more than 250 universities will be in attendance, including students from schools with major basketball programs such as Syracuse University, University of North Carolina, University of Connecticut, University of Kansas, and the University of Michigan.
The fifth meeting of CGI U will be held at the George Washington University in Washington D.C., March 30-April 1, falling on the same weekend as NCAA “Final Four” men’s and women’s basketball championships. While tremendous attention will be paid to the athletic accomplishments of the student athletes during the month of March, CGI U will celebrate its students’ Commitments to Action – plans to address some of the world’s greatest challenges.
“From creating sustainable bamboo bikes to teaching young people life skills through the game of chess, these new CGI U commitments are 16 great examples of how college students are taking action to improve lives on their campus and around the world,” said President Clinton. “More than 3,000 commitments have been made since the first CGI U meeting in 2008 and I look forward to learning about the new solutions students will bring this year.”
Beginning today, the public can vote for their favorite CGI U 2012 commitment at www.cgiu.org/bracket.
Votes will be tallied and posted in real-time and those not attending CGI U can follow the action at cgiu.org. Updates will also be given at each plenary session, with the winning commitment being announced at the closing session of CGI U featuring President Clinton and Jon Stewart on March 31 at 4:00 p.m.
The 2012 CGI U Commitments Challenge Voting Schedule:
- The first round of voting will open today and will end Friday, March 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET
- The quarterfinal round of voting will end Monday, March 26 at 12:00 p.m. ET
- The semifinal round of voting will end Thursday, March 29 at 12:00 p.m. ET
- The final round of voting will end Saturday, March 31 at 3:00 p.m. ET
The 2012 CGI U program will feature sessions that will examine issues throughout its five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health. The meeting will examine critical topics, such as the transformation of the Middle East, the global economic crisis and its impact on young people, recruiting and retaining teachers, the famine in the Horn of Africa, cost-effective campus sustainability programs, and the youth movement for global health. These sessions will allow students to gain further insight into today’s pressing global challenges and acquire the skills needed to make progress on their own Commitments to Action.
The full agenda for CGI U 2012 can be found at http://www.cgiu.org/meetings/2012/agenda.asp.
The student commitments being featured in the 2012 CGI U Commitments Challenge include:
Commitment by: Chris Deschenez, John Torrey, and Matthew Wilkins
School: The George Washington University
Panda Cycles commits to providing sustainable bamboo bicycles at an affordable price in an effort to reduce carbon emissions while also providing a means of transportation to those in developing countries. For every bike sold, Panda Cycles will donate one bicycle to Bicycles for Humanity.
Promoting Electric Street Parking Signs in New York City
Commitment by: Zhuanegzi Li
School: Columbia University
Promoting Electric Street Parking Signs commits to creating a pilot program for using LED-powered electric parking signs to display parking regulations in New York City. Li believes this program will reduce traffic congestion as well as CO2 emissions and hopes to expand the program to other cities throughout the country.
Commitment by: Varun Arora
School: Carnegie Mellon University
OpenCurriculum commits to create the world’s first free K-12 global curriculum using crowdsourcing. Arora envisions the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania pilot program will liberate critical elements of education from barriers to education throughout the world.
Commitment by: Dhrooti Vyas
School: University of Chicago
Elec-chess-ity commits to teaching young people life skills including concentration, patience, and critical thinking through the game of chess. Volunteers will teach elementary and middle school students in both Chicago and Ahmedabad, India.
Commitment by: Derrius Quarles
School: Morehouse College
MillionDollarScholar commits to increasing the academic success of young people, especially those who face barriers to a college education, by increasing access to financial aid and other necessary resources.
Night Night Monster
Commitment by: Delia Mandia
School: New York University
Night Night Monster commits to provide children who suffer from night terrors with a doll to serve as a source of comfort. Mandia hopes to provide children throughout the world with a more peaceful night’s sleep, one doll at a time.
Red to Green
Commitment by: Mihaela Ciulianu
School: University of Baltimore
Red to Green commits to provide financial literacy education to individuals and families so they can better manage their finances. Ciulianu believes this will build confidence, bring families together, and forge stronger communities in Baltimore, Maryland.
Village Zero Project
Commitment by: Kate DeKlerk, Maia Majumder, and David Meyers
School: Tufts University
Village Zero Project commits to combat the spread of endemic cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh through cell phone data collection software. With this knowledge, water and sanitation infrastructure interventions can be implemented in the most disease-prone communities, helping to mitigate the spread of infection, which currently impacts more than one million Bangladeshis annually.
Will Work for Food
Commitment by: Caroline Chevat, Andrew Hurwitz, Jonathan Rubins, and Anusha Sthanunathan
School: University of Michican, Ann Arbor
Will Work for Food commits to stimulate local community service in Ann Arbor, Michigan while raising relief funds to fight child malnutrition abroad. The money raised will help Doctors Without Borders get life-saving nutritional supplements to malnourished children overseas.
Safe Water for 100 Homes on Lingira
Commitment by: Elise Buchbinder
School: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Safe Water for 100 Homes on Lingira commits to provide sanitary drinking water to the island of Lingira in Uganda by subsidizing, directly distributing, and monitoring 100 Kosim Water Kegs to the local community. These household filtration systems will greatly reduce health problems caused by the turbid water of Lake Victoria, the only water source for Lingira residents.
Practice Makes Perfect
Commitment by: Karim Abouelnag, Amy Mitchell, and Nicolas Savvides
School: Cornell University
Practice Makes Perfect commits to narrow the academic achievement gap by pairing under-achieving fourth graders with high-achieving ninth graders under the supervision of college interns for an intensive academic summer program. They plan to operate four programs that will impact more than 200 students across New York City.
Energy for Opportunity
Commitment by: Kani Keita
School: Harvard University
Energy for Opportunity commits to promote the construction of a Community Charging Station (CCS) in the village of Salamale in rural Mali. A CCS is a solar-powered community center where locals can plug into clean energy for an affordable fee.
Sustainable Living Guide
Commitment by: Ariana Cano, Kaitlin Griffith, Rose Laughlin, and Matt Vedrin
School: Florida State University
Sustainable Living Guide commits to expand awareness about the state of sustainability at Florida State University (FSU) which will serve as a dynamic source of information regarding FSU’s sustainable efforts in energy and water conservation, food services, education, transportation services, and waste management.
Distribution of Portable, One-Step Diagnostic Kits
Commitment by: Anirudh Mohan
School: Duke University
Distribution of Portable, One-Step Diagnostic Kits commits to improve the accuracy of liquid morphine dosing in home-based palliative care programs in Malawi through the implementation of our LiquiDose technology. They estimate this commitment will provide approximately 10,000 HIV/AIDS and cancer patients with accurate doses of pain-relieving liquid morphine.
National Youth Association Youth Fund
Commitment by: Timothy Hwang
School: Princeton University
The National Youth Association commits to create a youth-led, youth-managed investment and microfinance fund tailored to the specific needs of college students and recent graduates. The organization will raise $500,000 to launch two pilot programs that will offer small business loans and credit builder accounts allowing students to build credit and get access to loans without high premiums.
Commitment by: Nasia Smith
School: Philander Smith College
Prototype commits to mentor and guide young women in Little Rock, Arkansas to prevent juvenile delinquency, increase youth self-awareness, to help them realize their full potential. Prototype will promote cultural awareness, academic excellence, and strength of spirit for young women.
View and share session webcasts from the CGI U 2012 by visiting: http://www.cgiu.org. Follow us on Twitter at@CGIU and @ClintonGlobal or on Facebook at Facebook.com/CGIUniversity for meeting news and highlights. The event hashtag is #CGIU.
Press registration is now open to members of the media. To apply, please complete the form at http://bit.ly/A5pvo9.
The deadline to apply for press credentials is Tuesday, March 27 at 5 p.m. ET. Journalists may apply for credentials on-site, but pre-registered media will be given priority. For questions about press registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About CGI U
The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U members do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by building relationships, creating action plans, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Their efforts have culminated in approximately 3,000 Commitments to Action. Previous CGI U meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Miami, and the University of California at San Diego, and have convened more than 3,500 students from 641 schools in 110 countries and all 50 states. The fifth annual CGI U meeting will be held at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. from March 30 – April 1, 2012. To learn more, visit cgiu.org.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.
CGI’s Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.