Students win competition, aim to educate student body about clean water issues

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 3.39.46 PMBy Breck Sharbel
Around 780 million people in the world don’t have access to clean water and a team of Trevecca students is getting paid to help do something about it.
A new campaign to raise money called “Drop by Drop” launches on campus this month after a team of five Trevecca students took first place in a competition to raise awareness about the issue.

Last fall, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries challenged all Nazarene universities to raise awareness and funds for clean water initiatives.

After spending months creating a proposal, the Trevecca team won $9,000to fund their campaign and $2,000 each in scholarship money.

Trevecca faculty nominated five students to be part of an interdisciplinary team: Stephens Hiland, a communications major; Rachel Mudd, a business major; Erica Russell, a social justice major; Taylor Fleming, a social justice major; and Athyn Galardi, a religion major. With Jason Adkins and Jamie Casler as the faculty advisors, the Trevecca team submitted their proposal at the beginning of December.

Shortly thereafter, they won first place.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be able to use my strengths not only to work toward ending the water crisis and lowering these numbers, but also to help Trevecca students embody the mission that we are called to as Christians,” said Hiland.
On social media and through videos, the team will work to familiarize students with the global water crisis and related public health concerns.
On February 18th, coinciding with the beginning of the Lenten season,Drop By Drop will hand out Nalgene water bottles to students who want to incorporate Drop By Drop’s mission as part of their Lenten fast.

Students can then fill the Nalgenes with tap water—while also filling Drop By Drop’s donation jars with the money they would have spent on things like soda or coffee.

The team is aware that many of their fellow students are on a tight budget, so Drop By Drop’s fundraisers are designed with that in mind.

For starters, they will have jars for collecting spare change at key locations throughout campus. Working with Trevecca’s meal services at on-campus restaurants, Drop By Drop is exploring the possibility of donating a portion of a meal exchange —should a student chose tap water over a bottled drink. Jamie Casler, director of the J.V.Morsch Center for Social Justice, said education is the fist step in getting students to care about the issue.

“A lot of people don’t have a direct connection with unclean water, especially in the United States,” Casler noted. “Clean water is a privilege here at Trevecca and in the United States.”

This article originally appeared in the January 2015 print edition of TrevEchoes.

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