The conference included a variety of keynote speakers, break-out sessions and other colleges sharing their approach to ending hunger.
Auburn women’s basketball head coach Nell Fortner entertained guests as one of the keynote speakers. Fortner serves as the official AU War on Hunger spokesperson.
“The goal of the conference was to get students from universities around the country that have chapters of Universities Fighting World Hunger to come together, be able to share ideas and learn about the hunger model here at Auburn and take it to their campus,” said Angela Montoya, a graduate student in the college of human sciences and special projects coordinator for the campaign.
Montoya said that was not the only goal.
“We had a second goal, which was to bring experts from around the country to talk about the issue of hunger from a policy perspective, from a health perspective, from many different perspectives so people can understand the multi-disciplinary facet of the nature of hunger,” she said.
According to Auburn’s Web site, in 2004 Auburn became the first university to partner with the World Food Programme to launch a student-led campaign to fight world hunger.
The Committee of 19 is a vital part of this hunger initiative. The committee of students represents every college and major student organization on campus.
Montoya said this was unlike any conference she had ever attended.
She said students did not want to go back to their rooms at the end of the day. Instead, they stayed around and conversed about the ways they could possibly end world hunger.
Lori Beth Dutcher, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, said her favorite part about the weekend was meeting and hearing different people’s perspectives on the best approach to dealing with hunger.
“We had a great turnout, lots of kids from all over,” Montoya said. “We did have some inconveniences with some of them not being able to make it because of the weather and the economy, but overall the synergy was great. We had great conversations, and it was absolutely wonderful.”
Other students expressed how impressed they were with Auburn’s War on Hunger initiative and the support behind it.
“To see students who have taken their entire university and gotten behind the hunger initiative is incredible,” said Alex Merkovic, a senior at Florida State University majoring in Middle Eastern studies with a focus in economic development in Africa. “ I wish we had this kind of support at Florida State. And we’ve made strives with our school. And we’re pretty proud of what we’ve done at Florida State, but the fact that they’ve been able here to take the whole university and put it behind their initiative, I think, is incredible.”