Water fountains get upgraded to fill stations

By Katie Smith, A&E Editor

A new water bottle refillng station installed last month in the hall between the Student Life Center and the Dugan Library is intended to help reduce waste on campus.

Students can fill their water bottles with ease by placing their bottle in front of the sensor which pours water in a streaming fashion, much like a faucet. The station has a counter on it that keeps track of how many plastic bottles Newman students are saving by refilling their bottles.  

Last April, SGA approved a bill allocating a maximum of $500 for the filtration system. Micah VanderGriend, an SGA senator, said that because the bill was passed at the end of the year it sort of fell off and wasn’t revisited again until this year.

“I picked it up the next year and made sure it got finished,” VanderGriend said.

Up until this point, Newman has been in a contract with Culligan.

“They got out of the Culligan contract. Culligan would come here on a monthly basis to refill the water dispensers. This got rid of that need. It increases opportunities for students to get filtered water and fill their water bottles on campus,” Marisa Zayat, SGA president, said.

Both VanderGriend and Zayat said there is talk of expanding these water dispensers to other locations on campus.

“I’ve spoken to Scott Mudloff about getting one for Carrocci Hall and he was going to pass that onto RHA [Residence Hall Association] and see if they’re willing to partner with that,” VanderGriend said. “We wanted to see how this one went before we put it in the other buildings since it is a decent amount of money.”

Zayat said the refilling station, which costs $1,060.90, is looking successful up to this point and students have expressed appreciation and excitement for the expansion of this project.

“We have financial limitations so we can’t do that within the year. This one was over what we allocated so we received commitments from both the Dean of Student Life and Steve Hamersky in the Library. They both committed $300,” Zayat said.

Dean of Student Life, Christine Schneikart-Luebbe, and VanderGriend said that the sustainability efforts behind this project were a pushing force for them.

“People get more concerned about the environment. Things like this are more present, more sought after and people want to cut down on waste,“ VanderGriend said.

PHOTO: THE FIRST WATER bottle filling station was installed just outside the Student Center in the Dugan Library. Courtney Klaus, Editor-In-Chief