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In Attempt To Break World Record, Students Host Malaria Awareness Event

Attendees of the Harvard One Campaign connect glowsticks outside Memorial Hall as they attempt to create the longest chain of glowsticks on World Malaria Day.
Attendees of the Harvard One Campaign connect glowsticks outside Memorial Hall as they attempt to create the longest chain of glowsticks on World Malaria Day. By George J Lok
By Humberto Juarez, Contributing Writer

With the goal of raising awareness about malaria, Harvard College Students Against Malaria attempted Saturday to break a world record for the longest chain of glowsticks by linking more than 10,000 glowsticks together in the Science Center Plaza. The event, entitled the "Harvard One Campaign," coincided with World Malaria Day.

According to Mohammed A. Toure ’16, co-founder and co-president of SAM, the group aimed to “do something fun and cool and to raise awareness for malaria.” He said he hoped the event would educate more people about malaria and inspire people to continue working against the issue.

Toure added that the Office of Student Life approved SAM last fall semester, and the student organization has since been “working hard in organizing activities that will inform people.”

Attendees of the Harvard One Campaign connect glowsticks outside Memorial Hall as they attempt to create the longest chain of glowsticks on World Malaria Day.
Attendees of the Harvard One Campaign connect glowsticks outside Memorial Hall as they attempt to create the longest chain of glowsticks on World Malaria Day. By George J Lok

The glowsticks, while used to break a world record, symbolized “shedding light” on an issue that “affects half the world’s population,” Toure said. The attendees connected more than 10,000 glowsticks, which would beat the current record of the longest chain of glowsticks at 9,021 glowsticks; the group awaits confirmation from Guinness World Records, according to Toure.

Kimberly S. Mihayo ’15, an event organizer, emphasized the importance of educating the community about the issue.

“The biggest goal for us is to engage the Harvard community and to get everybody to come together,” she said.

Since the event was held in the Science Center Plaza, some attendees said they found it easy to take part, and that they considered the event informative.

For her part, Nadia L. Urrea ’17 said that she thought the glowsticks served as an effective informational tool.

“Today I’ve learned that there are a lot more deaths from malaria that most people are aware of,” she said.

Dami A. Aladesanmi ’15 said that once people “understand why the lights are being put together, they will get a feel for what the issue is.”

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