What You Should Know About The Flint Water Crisis

What You Should Know About The Flint Water Crisis

And how you can help.
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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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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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