By now, virtually everyone has heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge, which was started by former Boston College baseball player-turned ALS patient Pete Frates, urges those nominated by friends or family to either donate to an ALS charity or dump a bucket of ice water on themselves. The challenge promptly went viral around the world and has raised millions for ALS charities. Ohio University Student Senate President Megan Marzec was nominated by Ohio University President Roderick McDavis, and instead of doing the requisite "dump ice water, shriek, nominate friends" routine like most others, she decided to essentially re-enact the prom scene from Carrie and dump a bucket of "blood" on herself to urge her school to divest from Israel.
The video has since been changed to private.
The OU Student Senate wasted no time distancing themselves from Marzec's video:
On behalf of the student senate, we humbly apologize for the video President Megan Marzec posted.— OU Student Senate (@OUSenate) September 3, 2014
It's fine to have political opinions and it's fine to express them. It is, however, a tad crass to hijack a fun challenge meant to raise positive awareness for a devastating disease and turn it in to something negative. It's unacceptable behavior for anyone, never mind for a student senate president.
It's worth mentioning that an Israeli company is rapidly progressing on a cure for ALS, and attempts at divestment from Israel may be doing more harm than good for workers. In addition, true "divestment" from Israel is practically impossible, given the amount of technology companies either based or created in Israel.
It's not cool to piggyback other causes for personal gain, although I don't really see the "blood bucket challenge" catching on anytime soon.
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