Arts and Culture




    If you have never heard of the ALS Ice Bucket
Challenge, you’re probably living under a rock. Since
early August, millions of social media users have taken the challenge, which involves dumping a freezing bucket of
water and ice on their heads and posting the videos on
their Facebooks, Instagrams, Vines, YouTubes, Keeks, and much more. From Emma Stone to Jimmy Kimmel to Oprah Winfrey, many celebrities have also been taking part in
this incredible trend.

   The rules of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge are fairly simple: once a person has been challenged to take on the Ice Bucket Challenge, he or she needs to either dump ice water on his or her head or donate at least $100
million to the ALS Association. These people then continue
to nominate a list of unchallenged people, and the chain goes on and on. Many people choose to both soak themselves as well as donate money to the foundation, and some celebrities have even donated several thousands in order to spread
more awareness.

   This campaign for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, was started by a man named Pete Frates, a former college baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. He was driven to promote recognition for the disease, and was inspired to start a creative trend that would encourage people to understand the severity of ALS better.

   Throughout August, the challenge was set in motion and it took flight as more and more people began spreading the videos of themselves all over social media. As of August, donations to the ALS Association have added up to $100 million, which is a 3,500 percent increase from the amount of money collected in 2012.

   However, there has been much controversy over whether people are actually interested in promoting awareness for ALS, or are simply blindly following in the footsteps of social media trends.

  In addition, some question whether people should be wasting so much water in the middle of California’s
severe drought if dumping water does not help the ALS
association directly.

   “Publicizing this disease was worth the water that might have been used, and I know many people in California tried to do the challenge while still being conservative by skipping a shower or using pool water,” senior Hannah
Manheim said.

  Other people who have done the challenge have
varying opinions on whether the drought or the challenge
is of more importance.

   “Lou Gehrig’s Disease really only affects the person that is stricken with it as well as his or her family, whereas the drought is affecting the entire state of California, so it has a much broader impact. The amount of water that is used for the ice bucket challenge doesn’t seem significant at the time, but when you think about how many people have done it, it adds up to a lot of water. I guess I was feeling peer pressured to do it,” tennis instructor Craig
Corfield said.