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Union to conduct water bottle poll

Published: October 3, 2008
Section: News


The Student Union will conduct a poll beginning today to gauge student opinion regarding the use of plastic water bottles on campus, Union Vice President Adam Hughes ’11 said.

“I’m doing a poll because I’ve been asked what students think so I’m going to ask students,” Union President Jason Gray ’10 commented.

“We’ll take the results and bring them in front of the water bottle committee,” Hughes added.

The committee, chaired by Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy, was charged by President Jehuda Reinharz to make a recommendation regarding a possible reduction of bottled water usage on campus by mid-October.

Reinharz, who informed the university community of the committee creation in an e-mail at the end of August, has expressed support for a reduction in bottled water usage.

“We’ve been advocating for a quite a while to look into the feasibility of reducing bottled water consumption,” Students for Environment Action president Matt Schmidt ’11 said.

Last semester, SEA conducted an awareness campaign about the environmental impacts of bottled water waste. This semester, SEA distributed a free reusable water bottle to undergraduate students.

“We want to reduce bottled water consumption. I don’t think anyone is advocating for complete elimination,” Schmidt remarked.

However, “before any final decision [is made],” he continued, “people want to make sure this is what students really want.”

Committee member and former SEA president Stephanie Sofer ’09 stressed the importance of student votes. Thus far, “we haven’t been able to fully gauge student opinion on the water bottle issue.”

She continued, “a poll would provide the committee with information about how to best proceed.”

“For SEA,” Schmidt said, “we’re looking for a big turnout and a big yes vote.”

He added, “we’re just going to push really hard to let people know about the vote.”

“The better the turnout, the better able the committee is to report on how to best and most appropriately proceed,” Sofer commented.