What You Should Know About The Flint Water Crisis

What You Should Know About The Flint Water Crisis

And how you can help.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about the Flint water crisis recently. If you haven't: 1. You really need to read the news. 2. Here's the scoop: for nearly two years, the residents of Flint have been poisoned by their water supply from the Flint River.

In 2011, Gov. Snyder hired a slew of emergency managers to mend the poor city of Flint and to cut costs. In April 2014, one of the managers decided to remove Flint from Detroit's water supply and replace it with water directly from the Flint River, yum. The water from the river hasn't been treated properly, and contains high levels of lead and chloride. Water filters have been distributed to residents that are capable of treating water containing lead up to 150 parts per billion. Officials announced that the lead levels in the Flint water samples that were tested ranged from 153 parts per billion to over 4,000 parts per billion, exceeding the filters capability.

The effects of lead poisoning are dangerous for adults and children, but especially for unborn and young children. The effects on children include developmental delays, damage to the nervous system, impairs cognitive functions, and more. These effects are irreversible.

Flint has been declared in a state of emergency at the state and federal levels. Since the crisis has made national news, many celebrities have donated bottles of water and funds to help aid the city of Flint including Cher, Jimmy Fallon, Big Sean, Meek Mill, Eminem, and more.

Many local efforts have been made as well, including an independent water drive on campus ran by the WSU Sigma Pi fraternity, Gamma-Omega chapter. Hamza Ahmed, a senior dual student and Philanthropy Committee Chairman of the fraternity, took initiative of the event.

"It occurred to me when I was driving to Wayne State University one morning in late December. I was listening to the news on the radio and the water situation was mentioned and how the basic need for human life was being affected. This gave me the idea of holding a Water Drive event on behalf of my Chapter," Ahmed said. "I informed my fellow brothers about the situation and what I planned on doing. Everyone was very eager to participate in the cause and started contacting their families and employers about possible donations. Within a week, we acquired donation offers from four different businesses that amounted to $2,000."

The event took place Thursday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Center.

"In a matter of hours and such short notice, we were able to raise enough donations for 5,400 water bottles," Ahmed said.

How you can help:

Sigma Pi plans to continue holding water drives through the month of February. Sigma Pi hopes to raise at least 100,000 bottles of water. People who are unable to bring donations to the drives can make donations online from anywhere, Ahmed said. All donations collected will go towards United Way of Genesee County.

"People should know that residents of Flint are struggling every day to achieve a normal life. With the current water supply, they are not only unable to drink water but they cannot wash hands, bathe themselves, cook, or anything where water can come in contact with them. The need for clean water was there, is there, and will continue to be there for quite some time," Ahmed said.

To stay updated on upcoming events, "like" the Sigma Pi Gamma-Omega Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SigmaPiGO.

Monetary donations are also accepted by checks payable to Sigma Pi Fraternity, Gamma-Omega Chapter.

Cover Image Credit: Hamza Ahmed

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Removing Toxic People From Your Life

You do not, and I repeat, do not, owe others an explanation for doing something for the betterment of your own well being.

Unfortunately, toxic people are always going to be present and coming into your life. There are many ways to deal with them and they can be represented by several characteristics. However, it is your personal choice when deciding what to do with them. Do you let them stay in your life and keep taking more than they give? Or, do you cut them out of your life?

Toxic people look just like any other person on the outside, but they are usually narcissistic and overbearing on the inside. They can appear to be friends, family, peers or even college roommates. Toxic people are typically greedy and manipulative. They make you think that they care about you when really, the fact is that they only care about themselves. They are not going to be there to congratulate you on your personal victories because inside they just want to see you fail to make themselves look better.

Toxic people never apologize for what they have done that was wrong, especially if it is something that hurt somebody else. Sometimes, they tell fibs about what happened and they are far from the truth. Finally, toxic people bring back irrelevant information to arguments and hold everything that you have ever said against you.

All of these characteristics are those of a toxic person or somebody that you hopefully do not want in your life. Now, the question remains, what do you do with them? My advice to you is to cut them out of your life and move on. Eventually, you realize when enough is enough with somebody and you cannot handle them mistreating you any longer.

Always remember that you are allowed to leave those who have hurt you. You are allowed to be selfish sometimes when it means taking care of yourself. You do not, and I repeat, do not, owe others an explanation for doing something for the betterment of your own well being. What some people have a hard time realizing is that it is okay to want to make yourself happy.

You should not have to quietly sit there and smile while other people are walking all over you. You are a human being, and you have a right to let someone know that they are hurting you and that they need to stop doing so. You are allowed to set boundaries when people are overstepping and making you feel uncomfortable.

Whether you take my advice or not, I am confident that you will make the right decision in regards to dealing with toxic individuals. However, just trust me when I say that once you can, and choose to recognize and erode the toxicity of these awful beings, you will see an array of positive changes in your life and overall well being.
Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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The National School Walkout Day Is Important Because Staying Silent Is Not The Best Option

We must make our voices known.

Protests are usually controversial. There's really no way around it; that's kinda the whole point of protests. But the National School Walkout Day is important because we, as students, no longer feel safe in our classrooms. With all the armed robberies happening in Eugene currently, I don't even feel safe walking around NEAR campus. Even walking alone on campus has become slightly terrifying.

But I don't enjoy living in fear. Maybe it's my resilient spirit, but living in fear is one of the things I hate. I chose to participate in the walkout for that specific reason. I should feel safe sitting in a classroom while trying to learn new material. I shouldn't have an added layer of FEAR to the classroom environment.

How are we supposed to learn when we're worried about being the next victim in a list of school shooting victims that is already way too long? Even though I didn't have class at the time of the walkout, participating in it still was extremely powerful for me. Seeing so many fellow students united in our fear and resilience is incredibly powerful.

Many people disagree with this walkout, and argue that walking out of our classes for seventeen minutes won't change anything. My problem with this mindset is that these kinds of people don't think ANYTHING can make a change. However, most of our actions have the potential to majorly affect more than we realize. Staying silent about this issue won't create any positive change, so why not protest and show the country and government how unhappy we are about this current situation? We must make our voices known.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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