The water in the city of Flint, Michigan, about 60 miles northwest of Detroit, has been contaminated and ruled unsafe for natives to use.
Upsilon Phi Upsilon and Omega Tau Pi have started a drive to collect cases, jugs, or gallons of water for the victims in Flint, Michigan.
According to Upsilon Phi Upsilon member Brian Nichols, the two organizations have collected 100-150 cases of water so far. The water is being sent via airways and also through UPS.
“Our organization is built around unity and really just helping out the community,” said Nichols. “And we felt like this would be a great opportunity for us to show more and do more for the campus and just to help the cause.”
Nichols also wanted to send a special thanks to members of Delta Sigma Theta. “They donated a lot of water!” said Nichols.
President of Upsilon Phi Upsilon added another reason behind the supplying water.
“If it was me, I would want someone to do the same.”
“We enjoy doing community services,” said Omega Tau Pi member Richarnee Norris.
Flint was under the control of an emergency manager, appointed by state, when it switched from Detroit’s system to the Flint River back in April of 2014.
After the switch back in October, tests found high levels of lead in blood samples taken from children.
“I feel that the situation is very unfortunate to those who live or have family in Flint,” said Megan Crockett, a senior biology major from West Bloomfield, Michigan. “It’s sad that it has been complained about for over two years, but is just now getting the attention from the government because of media criticism. With Flint being 30-35 minutes away from where I’m from, it hasn’t affected me personally, but having family and friends living there, I worry about their safety about their health and safety,” said Crockett.
Bre’nae Andrews, a sophomore from Detroit blames the government for the problem. “Who knew they water was unsafe to even bathe in,” said Andrews, “but they continued to profess the safe process. The governor and everyone else should be prosecuted for allowing it, and I feel like if it was a predominately white population, it would have NEVER happened.”
Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder has repeatedly apologized for the state’s lack of handling of the emergency.
The FBI has joined the case to investigate any criminal activity involved.
According to Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and a former federal prosecutor, the capability to pursue criminal charges under the U.S. environmental laws is limited.
“You need something that is false to build a case,” said Henning. “Simply failing to recognize the seriousness of the situation would not rise to that level.
The members of Upsilon Phi Upsilon and Omega Tau Pi will continue to collect water until Friday.
Cases, jugs, or gallons of water can be taken to Martha Adams Room 119 or to the Douglass Hall RA office.
Candice Miller, a U.S. Representative, proposed an emergency bill to provide $1 billion toward Flint’s water pipes.
In the meantime, some celebrities have also contributed to the cause including music artists Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill, Sean Combs, The Game, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, Madonna, KEM, and Big Sean.
Sports individuals Magic Johnson, and Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah also helped out.
Johnson, a native of Lansing Michigan, shared his opinion on Twitter, “No American should go without access to clean water to drink or bathe in.”