Black Student Union sends shipment of water to Flint


In the midst of the national water crisis in Flint, a group at Butler decided to do something about it.

Kayla Long, secretary for Black Student Union (BSU), is a first year critical communications and media studies and digital media productions double major. Long said that after the story broke, BSU discussed the water crisis at their weekly meeting. The organization decided to start a water drive.

Karen Weaver, Flint Michigan’s mayor, originally declared state of emergency about the amount of lead in the water supply on Dec. 14 of last year, the water crisis in Flint Michigan has received national attention.

“Water is a basic necessity. Everyone needs it. So we said let’s do something about it,” Long said.

First year Makiah Harper is a member for BSU and a double major in organization communication and leadership along with marketing.

“(The) majority of those who live in Flint, Michigan are black people and as a community of black people at a school who have access to the resources that Flint needs…it’s our duty to raise money and water,” Harper said.

At the end of last month, BSU set up a “Change for Change: Flint, Michigan Water Drive” table in Starbucks to collect water and monetary donations to support Flint, Michigan.

Celeste Smith, Vice President of campus events on BSU and chemistry major and sophomore, said that Flint has a high African-American population.

“As the Black Student Union, we saw this environmental struggle as our struggle and so we set out to raise water and monetary donations to help support the local people in Flint,” Smith said.

Tabitha Barbour, President of BSU, English literature and Gender, Women and Sexuality studies double major, and junior, said the water drive was a way BSU could help stand up against environmental racism. She said BSU received 20 cases of water, 36 bottles of water, and 14 gallons of water. Additionally, she said they raised over $200.

Barbour said they brought their water to the Martin Luther King Center, and the shipment was moved out on  Feb. 9 to Flint.

“Literally, it (Flint’s water) doesn’t look like water. It looks like orange juice. It looks like really nasty orange juice,” Long said. “There are still people in need of water, still multiple children, teenagers and adults that are sick.”

Long said BSU is still accepting water and monetary donations in Atherton Union, room 004 to continue to purchase water.