Green efforts bottlenecked at the University

THERESA MENSINGER - UNIVERSITY STUDENT

While the editorial âÄúToo fond of the bottleâÄù made some great points on why the sale of bottled water should be banned on campus (negative environmental effects, negative effects on student health and the University choosing big corporate contracts over both of these concerns), it failed to mention one of the largest benefits of prohibiting the sale of bottled water: supporting essential human rights.

Water doesnâÄôt appear magically in bottles to be provided to students at the University; it is taken from somewhere. That somewhere is in the drying rivers and wells of our own country, or from some of the poorest nations.

The privatization of water does not only cost those who choose to buy the bottled water, but everyone. As Judy Purman, director of sustainability at the College of Saint Benedict stated, âÄúNot only are there environmental, economic and social costs of production, transport and sale of bottled water, itâÄôs important to recognize that water is a fundamental human right.âÄù

While the privatization of land, oil, forestry and other natural resources have already had detrimental effects on the environment, the privatization of water would have and already has had a detrimental effect on human lives. It is time for the University to show its morals and values. Stand up for what is right: The health of the environment, the health of the students and most importantly, human rights.

Leslie Bowman stated that âÄúwith enough student support to stop selling bottled water at the University âĦ there could be a major discussion and probably an amendment to the contract [with Coca-Cola].âÄù This means there is room for negotiation. It is time for the University to act in accordance to the principles that it portrays.