Villanova alum creates Flint fundraiser in response to tasteless NCAA sign


  • Instagram user @barstoolnova

At least one alum of Philadelphia's Villanova University has voiced disapproval in her alma mater after an overzealous fan used the Flint water crisis to taunt U-M during the NCAA basketball tournament.

Earlier this month, some Wildcats fan wrote, "The only lead @mich will have is in their water" on a sign before the final NCAA championship game, in which Villanova beat the Wolverines 79-62.

The distasteful sign was enough to spoil the victory for Meghan Klaric, a Villanova alum who now lives in Ann Arbor.

"My elation turned to shame," Klaric said in a letter to the editor published in the college's paper, The Villanovan, after she saw the sign. "As a current resident of Michigan, I was horrified that anyone from my beloved university would think it was acceptable to mock the Flint water crisis."

She writes:

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.) 

Klaric has since launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Flint. "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," she says. "All I ask is that you open your wallets once more and donate a few dollars to help the children of Flint, Mich."

Klaric says donated money will go toward the Foundation for Flint, which supports the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to serve the long-term health and development needs of the city.

The crowdfunding campaign can be found here. It has so far raised more than $2,000 of its $5,000 goal.

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