Haiti Connection at RHA

The Haiti Connection became the main topic of Residence Hall Association meeting on Thursday at Greek Court.

Steve Joebgen, a communication studies major, and Molly McGuire, an English major, spoke on behalf of the Haiti Connection from the Catholic Newman Center.

Joebgen said Haiti Connection has participated in community programs in Haiti over the past 20 years, completing projects such as building houses and working to send children to school.

The topic of Joebgen’s discussion at the RHA meeting was the Water for Life Initiative program. He said 1.1 billion people worldwide cannot find clean drinking water.

“We’re trying to expand it and make it a bigger deal in the campus community to raise awareness of clean water,” Joebgen said.

In order to raise awareness, the Newman Center is handing out water bottles at their church services to raise money to help those suffering from unclean water in Haiti.

The Water for Life Initiative helps support the new water filtration system, which will allow Haiti residents to have clean water.

“If you collect a quarter a day, just a quarter a day for 40 days, that gives a family access to clean water for life,” Joebgen said. “Cleaner water helps solve everything. Women often have to travel to the water source and then wait for buckets to fill up.”

Deep Springs International, who goes into the community to monitor the system and hire technicians to maintain the services for the community, supports Water for Life. Each student filtration system costs $10, which will be sent to Haiti.

“It’s a one bucket system and it’s a 5-gallon bucket. It’s a filtration system where if you put in sandy, muddy, dirty, nasty water in the top and you treat it, and it goes through the filtration,” Joebgen said. “What you get out of the spot on the bottom of the bucket is as clean as anything you’re going to find in the bottle of that vending machine or a water fountain on campus.”

The executive board then motioned to move on to Kids and Friends Weekend, which will be from Friday at 6 p.m. to Saturday at 4 p.m.

Dondre Keller, the president of the National Residence Hall Honorary, said this year’s theme is Dr. Seuss.

“Hopefully the kids will like the Dr. Seuss theme of the windows,” Keller said.

Each hall decorated their windows for the weekend’s events, and the parents are going to judge the best designs.

“It’s off creativity, uniqueness and overall appearance,” Keller said.

Jessica Arteaga, a junior communication disorder and sciences major, is on the programming committee for Kids and Friends Weekend.

“We’re ‘A Wocket In My Pocket,'” Arteaga said. “We’re doing a cake walk and making masks.”

Arteagna and the committee began planning for the event after Roc Fest last semester. The Dr. Seuss theme this year came from the variety of Dr. Seuss books for children, including “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket.”

The committee also discussed the upcoming, weeklong spring fling events that will take place after Spring break.

“It’s the Roc Fest of the spring,” Keller said.

Jennifer Brown can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction March 6, 2011:

In Friday’s edition of The Daily Eastern News an error was printed in the story titled “Haiti Connection at RHA.” Dondre Keeler is the vice president of the Resident Hall Association.

The DEN regrets the error.