Clooney visits Stanford, talks issues facing Sudan


"There's a time clock and it's ticking..." said Clooney.

Clooney came to Stanford University Monday night because he was asked to. Friend and guest lecturer John Prendergast invited Clooney to speak directly to students, and the actor/activist didn't hesitate.

"I've always had faith in the youth of America in general, but there's also a version of networking that exists in colleges I think that doesn't necessarily exist once you get outside of that world," said Clooney.

Clooney has been passionate about the atrocities in Sudan for several years, but he says now is the time for renewed attention on the issue. Sudan is just two months away from an election, which depending on the outcome, could split the country in two. Experts fear there will be a new outbreak of civil war.

"We're banging the drum to say, 'Look we got a chance, you have a chance, we all have a chance of participating in trying to stop a war before it starts instead of cleaning up afterwards, which is what we normally have to do,'" said Clooney.

Clooney says much progress has been made. Sen. John Kerry is leading diplomatic efforts on a possible peace agreement. As for the students, many were clearly a bit starry-eyed, but campus leaders on the Sudan issue hope Clooney's appearance will have a much deeper impact.

"It means that a huge group of people who might otherwise not be committed and passionate about this issue will get a chance to see something that will help them learn about a conflict in Sudan that is not always widely talked about, but that someone like George Clooney can care about," said Stanford student Mia Newman.

Clooney made this trip to Stanford amid a very busy schedule. He's prepping for a new movie, which he says begins shooting in February.

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