Colorado State University students held a fundraiser called “Water Around the Oval” Friday to collect water and raise money to benefit Flint, Michigan. The proceeds from the fundraiser, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be sent to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
While the situation in Flint has been developing for two years, it was only last year that a state of emergency was declared in the city.
The concept of “Water Around the Oval” was the brain-child of political science sophomore Isaiah Martin, who received considerable support from the Black/African-American Cultural Center.
“I want to do whatever I can; no matter what the cost, no matter what the distance,” Martin said. “With Water Around the Oval, what we’re hoping is that this will not only be a first step for us, but for other students around campus to get involved not only in the community but nationally.”
For a number of people, Water Around the Oval was an opportunity to address the interlocking of environmental and social justice issues.
“I think we live in a bubble where we tend to separate environmental issues and social justice issues,” said Steven Hartman, a political science senior. “A fundraiser like to bring awareness to towns like Flint helps to get rid of the ‘not-in-my-backyard’ mentality. It’s all our backyard.”
Those involved in planning for the event encountered challenges along the way, namely with regards to ASCSU’s Diversity Bill. Because of the bill’s unexpected failure at the second vote, time and resources were diverted away from the fundraiser in order to campaign for the bill’s passing.
This did not deter planners, such as senior economics student Kwon Atlas, from pushing forward.
“We were a little concerned to whether or not we were ready to do it. But the year is moving fast,” Atlas said. “Whatever we get is what we get. I’m happy that we got to put on this event, just to show that we are aware of what’s going on.”
Despite setbacks in the planning stage, Martin and his colleges were able to collect a total of 111 gallons of water and raise $275, $110 of which coming from their GoFundMe page as of 4 p.m. today and $165 coming from physical donations.
Water Around the Oval’s GoFundMe page will be available for one more week, which can be accessed through their Facebook page.
Collegian Reporter Gabriel Go can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jackal893.