TCNJ Students Experience 'The Great Ewing Water Crisis' — And They Have a Lot to Learn

If you weren’t on campus Friday, Sept. 27 to Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, then you probably didn’t experience the Great Ewing Water Crisis. 

It was pretty disastrous, almost like experiencing the end of the world. Students could not drink their tap water unless they boiled it! No one wanted to shower or even turn on the water. The most heart-wrenching part of this water crisis was—brace yourself, Dunkin Donuts was closed! I know hard to believe that Dunkin Donuts needs clean water to be open and serve their customers. Besides going to Wawa (which was open) we were all without caffeine, and cranky!

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The only thing we could do to complicate was to create memes of how regardless of being told not to drink the water we should anyways. Then the last straw on my back broke. Someone had the audacity of posting #flintorewing when discovering multiple food and coffee shops were closed in Ewing and in surrounding places. 

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If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am being very sarcastic so far in this article. Mostly because our, ‘Water Crisis,’ was nothing compared to problems that are occurring in other countries and Flint, Michigan right in the United States. Flint, Michigan is only 653 miles away from the college. They have been without clean water for five years. When the people in Flint turn on their faucets or shower what comes out is dirty brown water with high levels of lead. The people there have health problems due to the water. The worst part of Flint’s water crisis? They are paying water bills each month for this dirty water. But, are they getting clean water? No!

What we experienced in the 24+ hours was nothing compared to what they face on a day-to-day basis. At the College, the water was still usable if we boiled it. The Student Center gave out free water bottles to students. More than anything, people could still go to shopping centers and buy bottled water to drink. 

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This is one of the problems with our world. Many of us don’t care about something unless it’s directly affecting us. I’ve always heard about Flint, Michigan, but I’ve never taken the time to research what’s been going on there. Not until something only a tiny bit similar happened in an area that I live in. 

It’s easy to shut out the world and not think about other people’s problems. It’s easy to focus on your own problems. It’s easy to not realize the privilege that you have. But as soon as you discover this privilege, you should stop taking for granted the things you have in life. For starters, having clean water in your community.