Dear Nova Nation (Both Fans and Alumni):
I know we are all still basking in our NCAA championship win. However, it was brought to my attention that some Villanova fans posted a banner near campus that said, "The only lead @mich will have is in its water." My elation turned to shame. As a resident of Michigan, I was horrified that anyone from my beloved university would think it was acceptable to mock the Flint Water Crisis. (See: https://thebiglead.com/2018/04/03/villanova-fans-latest-to-use-flint-water-crisis-to-taunt-michigan/)
The Flint Water Crisis is ongoing and horrific. An entire American city was poisoned. People died. An entire generation of children will experience the effects of lead exposure at a young age, including impaired cognition, behavioral disorders, hearing problems, and delayed puberty. The city still, four years later, does not have clean water. And the problems will not stop once clean water reaches the city's faucets. The health problems caused by lead exposure are cumulative and incurable.
Villanovans, this is not us. We are better than this. This goes against our core Augustinian values of veritas, unitas, caritas. Truth, unity, love. Our values mean nothing if we abandon them to make a cheap and tasteless joke about a sporting event. (And to the students who put up this sign, you might want to take a geography class, because Ann Arbor and Flint are not exactly neighboring cities.)
I know we are all opening our wallets right now to buy 2018 Championship hats and shirts and reprints of the front page of the Daily News. All I ask is that you open your wallets once more and donate a few dollars to help the children of Flint, MI. The money donated will go to the Foundation for Flint, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint that was established to serve the long-term health and development needs of the City of Flint. (See: https://www.cfgf.org/cfgf/AboutUs/FoundationforFlint/tabid/874/Default.aspx)
Thank you, and Go Cats!
Meghan Klaric, LAS '04, LAW '10
[Church photo credit: Villanova University]