The tragedy of Jaycee Lee Dugard, kidnapped and held for 18 years in tents in the backyard of her captor's home was not just in the despicable act of a depraved individual; it was also in the lack of attention and action on the part of those who could have made a difference. Apparently, no one was curious enough about the odd structure or her two docile children to raise a sufficient alarm. A parole officer once visited the home but left without learning about the concealed backyard compound. It took two police officers at the University of Berkeley to finally get suspicious enough about the man who was passing out religious tracts on campus to run a background check, which eventually unraveled the whole tangled tragedy. Detached neighbors and a negligent officer left a woman and her children enslaved for 6,654 days. Complex and overwhelming challenges sometimes make individual effort feel fruitless. One person seems insignificant in the face of worldwide hatred, crime and greed. That sentiment, however, might just serve as an excuse for inaction. Individuals must take a stand on events transpiring next door or halfway around the world. A Weber State University psychology senior, 21-year-old Cameron Morgan knows about taking a stand. In fact he organized a chapter of STAND on campus. STAND, which is short for Student Taking Action Now, has 800 chapters nationally and is committed to raising money and awareness about atrocities in countries far distant from the sheltered classrooms at WSU. On Wednesday, Sept. 2, a dozen members of STAND began a fast and pledged to go without anything but water until they had raised $2,500 to help end war and build schools for refugees in Northern Uganda. STAND members vowed to go hungry and sleep under the stars until they reached their goal. Morgan's long-term personal goal is to spend his life serving in Africa. He feels confident about his chosen path after spending time there teaching English to refugees. He says history has shown time and again that a concerted effort by a small group dedicated to a cause can be a catalyst for change and the creation of large influential movements. "Anytime I see any small difference on the local level, which I do see constantly, it reinvigorates me and keeps me moving," Morgan said. "When I see people who have been previously apathetic, who have never been involved in any kind of political or human rights related humanitarian work get involved and love it, I realize for the rest of their lives these people are going to be politically active and active in the humanitarian realm there's no greater feeling than that to see apathy turn to life-long dedication." Already this school year, STAND has lobbied Senator Bennett's staff for passage of two bills, which would help women and children in Uganda and the Congo. The first bill Bennett previously co-signed. It calls on the U.S. to address the issue of children who are kidnapped and violently indoctrinated as young soldiers. The second bill would help uncover and stop rebel ownership of mines rich in mineral assets. The money supports army forces that regularly use rape and genital mutilation as a form of psychological warfare. "People should get involved because it is the only just and truly right thing to do," Morgan said. "Change is made by individual effort and the courage of the individual to act." Each person has to make that individual choice to take action. Courage from one person can alleviate pain and suffering for many others. The students in STAND bet that individuals at WSU would work collectively on behalf of a worthy cause, and sure enough within 25 hours they reached their goals of $2,500. Money raised by the effort will provide direct aid to Africa, and time spent camped out at WSU helped raise awareness and activism. Our individual labor each day must be to take a stand on behalf of our neighbors no matter where they live, next door or halfway around the world.