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What we can learn from the Newark water crisis

Our front page story this week discusses the water crisis that is currently affecting about 10% of homes in New Jersey’s largest city, Newark.

According to CNN, Newark city officials don’t know when exactly the city’s drinking water started to become contaminated with lead, but city officials told the news source that it was “due to the releasing of lead from plumbing and lead service lines on private property between the street and approximately 15,000 homes.” The officials went on to say that the Pequannock water treatment plant’s corrosion control system “became less effective at reducing the corrosion of lead pipes and resulted in rising lead levels in some homes with lead service lines,” throughout the city of Newark.

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Kerr 

In early August, both the city of Newark and the state of New Jersey began providing bottled water to residents of Newark whose drinking water contains lead. Some Seton Hall students are also doing their part to help their affected neighbors.

For example, The Alpha Nu Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity has been donating water to the St. Lucy’s Church with the assistance of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Upsilon Phi Chapter at Seton Hall. On Sept. 9 and 10, the Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE) at Seton Hall handed out bottled water on campus to those affected by this crisis.

There are a few things we can learn from what’s happening in Newark right now.

First, we can all learn what it means to be united during a time of injustice. It’s no secret that this crisis was caused by a lack of government oversight. Newark officials knew that this was a problem from at least as early as 2010. The city knew that its residents were at risk and didn’t do a sufficient amount of work to address the issue. Seton Hall students know this is a problem, and have begun to addresss it as they see fit. These students and DOVE are already attempting this unity. All Seton Hall students should take note of what they are doing and try to become involved. Even if it is as simple as driving a car to help donate water, helping our neighbors is essential.

Second, we all can humble ourselves. This isn’t the pain Olympics by any means, but when we get stressed and worry about our everyday issues, we can be reminded that we at least have clean water to drink.

The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Editorial Board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief.

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