The student government backs water bottle ban
Members urge administration to stop stocking bottled water
Published: Monday, December 7, 2009
Updated: Monday, December 7, 2009 12:12
The Student Government Association (SGA) passed a bill last Tuesday supporting the ban of bottled water on campus.
But this doesn't mean any change just yet — control over bottled water, among other beverage sales, is managed by the administration.
"What I am hoping now is to open up the table for discussion about this issue with [the administration] such as V.P. Gustafson to talk about the feasibility of UVM going through with this initiative," Marlee Baron, the SGA senator responsible for the bill, said.
While student organizations like VSTEP have started bottled water campaigns aimed at students, handing out free water bottles and hanging empty bottles around the Davis Center, the SGA's resolution looks toward the administration for changes.
The bill cites social and ecological hazards as reasons for the proposed ban.
While most students who spoke at the meeting agreed with the motive, some said the bill would be a poor decision for the SGA.
One advocated for freedom of choice, another suggested postponing the bill until the Coca-Cola contract expires in 2012, while yet another questioned the thoroughness of prior student polling.
Another student, speaking in support of the bill, said that out of 50 students he talked to, 47 were in favor, while one said he would support it only if one place on campus could still sell it.
"That's a very strong percent of random students," he said. "I love to hear specific numbers … rather than invoking this ghost of these people that aren't here."
After the discussion, voting concluded with a vote of 27 to 7, with three members abstaining.
"It may still turn out that, before the admin is even willing to talk about this matter, a broader base of students will have to be mobilized," Baron said.
"Students involved in VSTEP understand this to be primarily their charge to organize a student movement to garner more diverse support across campus and further educate the community about the reasons behind this ban idea," she said.