As the latest group at ACU to be publicly challenged, the freshman class was called out last week to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on the final day of Welcome Week.
That’s right, the entire freshman class.
Alex Abston, student director for Welcome Week, said Aubree Selinger from the Alumni Association nominated all incoming freshmen on Friday. The challenge was accepted Friday night at Backyard Bash after Mentor Group Olympics – but not by the freshmen.
Instead, the four Welcome Week student directors took the challenge in place of the new students.
“We were trying to be economical with our water use,” Abston said. “We were very conscious about that. That was the reasoning behind the student directors accepting the challenge on behalf of the freshmen.”
After the class of 2018 was challenged, people began to voice concern over the amount of water it would take to cover everyone. Nobody knew where the water would come from, and nobody was willing to waste that much water in the middle of a drought.
In fact, concern has spread across the state, and other states in similar situations, about the effect the ice bucket challenge could have during a drought. However, not wanting to disappoint, Abston and fellow student directors Caroline Gafford, Lauren Pratt and Eric Schinske shared two buckets of ice water between them.
Not wanting to subtract from the donations the original challenge could have procured for ALS research, the student directors partnered their ALS donations with the Fun Run the next morning, Abston said.
“Students had the ability to donate money to one of three charities when they checked in for the Fun Run on Saturday morning,” Abston said. “We were very intentional in giving students the ability to donate their Fun Run to a specific charity in order to follow through with the full commitment to the ALS challenge.”
No figures have been provided as to how much money was raised through the Fun Run, but Abston believes that raising awareness is just as important.
“The challenge is not about just dumping ice and challenging others, but it is really about raising awareness and funds for the ALS Association,” Abston said.
The student directors are not the only ACU members who have stepped up to take the challenge publicly.
President Phil Schubert recently took the ice bucket challenge and nominated Ken Collums and the ACU football team to do the same.
“You know, some days I work out in the gym next to them,” Schubert said in his ice challenge video. “And in the gym, they act like they’re pretty tough. But I’m going to see just how tough they are and see if they’re willing to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.”
Collums, the team and coaching staff all responded and took the challenge together, nominating Danieal Manning, ACU alumnus and current safety for the Cincinnati Bengals. Schubert, Collums and Manning’s challenge videos all aired on ESPNU Wednesday night as part of the broadcast of the Georgia State game.
The ice bucket challenge is more than just a funny video in which people get to embarrass others, though.
The challenge has swept the country over the last two months, picking up momentum in June. But it was not always aimed specifically toward ALS.
Mashable reported earlier this month the challenge’s association with ALS did not begin until July. Many people have taken the challenge and donated to other worthy organizations. However, the challenge is most often connected to the ALS Association, which, as of Wednesday, claims to have raised $94.3 million from donations since July 29.
The ALS Association claims to use the funds to research cures for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This disease targets nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, progressively destroying voluntary muscle action. Hence the point of dumping ice-cold water on the body – to experience nerve pain and discomfort, raising awareness of what sufferers of ALS feel.
The next big name on campus to be nominated was Willie the Wildcat, who was challenged by the student directors. As the challenge spreads throughout campus, hopefully significant amounts of money can be raised for multiple charitable organizations.
Students are urged to be conservative with their water usage when participating in this challenge.