When does clean water become a privilege rather than a right-

Story By: Madeline Baker

About a month ago, in the midst of the chaos of exams and three days before I was scheduled to go home, my mother sent me a text that read “No clean drinking water here, not sure when it will be resolved.” I wasn’t really surprised by this message, as contaminated drinking water isn’t out of the ordinary where I live. Corpus Christi, Texas, where I was born and raised, sits on the coastal part of the state, and is littered with refineries as you move inland. My hometown had undergone water boil advisories in the past, mostly due to an excess of chlorine in the water or something related to the pH levels. After reading my mom’s text, however, I decided to dig a little further and see what the issue was this time. The first result of my Google search was an article on NPR.org. “NPR,” I thought, “shit just got real.” This wasn’t just another water boil advisory, this was a complete ban on tap water for the entire 300,000 residents of Corpus Christi. The city council warned everyone not to drink, shower, cook, or wash dishes using the tap water. The contaminant in the water was more potent and harmful than anything that could simply be boiled out of the water.

I kept my eye on the situation over the next few days. I wanted to know what had contaminated our water and who was responsible for such a catastrophe. It was soon revealed that a man-made chemical called Indulin AA-86 had contaminated the water. Our local news channel described it as “an asphalt emulsifier that is corrosive to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and can cause damage to internal organs.” Investigators eventually determined that the source of the issue was a leaking backwater drainage system of a refinery owned by the Texas oil and gas giant, Valero. As I mentioned before, Corpus Christi is teeming with privately owned refineries, some located very close to less-developed residential areas of the city. Despite the city being left without clean drinking water for a total of five days and households spending close to hundreds of dollars each in bottled water, Corpus Christi never took legal action against Valero. To do so would have cost the city a huge portion of the revenue it makes from Valero’s property taxes, and Valero would have threatened to end its business relationship with the city. Essentially, the health of Corpus Christi’s residents came second to big business.


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Column By: Taylor Lamb

Hey y’all. It’s me. Your favorite unapologetic, black, advocate for feminism coming at you with something new for this semester. A column. The Black Column, to be exact.

“Oh no!” One might be thinking. “They gave her another opportunity to shove her agenda down our throats?!”

Yes. Yes, they did.

So, here’s the rundown: This semester I am taking “African & African American Studies II,” taught by Professor Harold. Is this my first “black” class? Hardly. I always try to integrate my blackness into my studies in any way I can, despite not being an AAS major. But I’ve never had a platform like this. So while I get educated, I’m gonna educate y’all a little bit too.


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Story By: Taylor Lamb

Ladies, it’s time for us to have a chat.

I’m going to talk to you about something I’ve been seeing more and more on social media lately. It is a harmful idea that people of all genders and races have perpetuated, acting as though it is normal and acceptable. This is, the “crazy girlfriend” trope.

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Now, I’m not talking about women acting rationally and reasonably in a relationship, and their boyfriend labelling any behavior they don’t like as “crazy.” That is a very real problem, and could be a different article all in itself. No, rather, I’m talking about the typically self proclaimed crazy girlfriend who doesn’t trust her boyfriend for no good reason. The girl who gets mad when her boyfriend doesn’t text back within five minutes. The girl who looks through her boyfriend’s phone & social media accounts when he’s in another room. The girl who refuses to let her boyfriend even talk to any other girls, much less be friends with them. The girl who thinks it’s okay to key his car or destroy his xbox when she gets angry at him. The girl who makes jokes about slapping, punching, and beating her boyfriend if he were to leave her. The girl who screams at her boyfriend when he’s not acting exactly the way she wants him to.

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Moonlight is the Best Movie of 2016 and You Can Fight Me on That

 

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Photo courtesy of JoBlo.com

Story By: Madeline Baker

I would like to preface this piece by stressing how little authority I have in determining what movies are worth watching and what movies are absolute garbage. I’m a 20-year-old white woman with limited life experience who hasn’t quite learned the difference between credit and debit. Apparently, society has anointed Quentin Tarantino one of the best filmmakers of our generation, and frankly I am appalled by this decision. Where was I for this vote? I have seen maybe two or three of his movies, including Pulp Fiction, and I can easily say they were all TRASH. This is beside the point, however, because now that I have completely destroyed any credibility I have as a film critic I would like to propose that why Moonlight is the one of the best movies I have ever seen.

I love movies that focus on multiple characters. I like seeing the evolution of each character throughout their respective plots within the movies, and I like seeing how the lives of the characters parallel within the movie. With this being said, I was a little hesitant to see Moonlight, a film directed by Barry Jenkins that tells the story of a young black man growing up in Miami and discovering his personal and sexual identity. I didn’t know if I would be completely bored watching one character on the screen for nearly three hours. I had never heard of the director either, and this only added to my wariness.


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What Eleven Students Wore to Alderman During Finals

Story By: Pinky Hossain

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Ah, it’s that time of year again, folks. When students all across Grounds from a myriad of different majors and years congregate at the libraries to frantically finish their ten-page essay for Media Studies or problem set for Computer Science (… at least I think that’s what they do in CS classes) or review ten chapters of biology he/she was not in class to synthesize. I took to Alderman to observe some of our wonderful, studious students. In classic finals fashion, the line for Greenberry’s was out the door, and it took us three and a half years to find a table to work at.

We’re stressed and we’re tired and we’re sleep-deprived, but at least we look good. Here’s what eleven of us wore to Alderman during finals week.
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This is Gillian. She’s fashionable as fuck. When I told her that I was taking pictures of what people were wearing during finals she said, “Well, you chose a great day – I spent an hour on this outfit.” Time well spent, Gillian. Time well spent.


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