Green is trying to kill me

| Forum Editor

I’m all for respecting the environment. Green is good. I love the efforts Wash. U. puts into sustainability. But a change that I’ve recently become aware of is simply ridiculous. Whispers Café is now a place where you can die of dehydration.

I was walking to class one afternoon, and decided to stop in quickly for some water. It was hot out. Thought I’d do my body some good and stay hydrated. Where the water cups used to be, even the incredibly small, useless ones, was now a sign that read something like, “Wash. U. wants you to use a water bottle.” I didn’t have a water bottle. So I thought I’d ask the lovely staff at Whispers for a cup. I was denied. So I had to resort to trickery. I asked for hot water, as if I were about to get tea. But no, my plan was foiled once again. So I left the library frustrated, thirsty and bewildered.

I thought the sign said that our school “wants” us to use a water bottle. Not that it requires us to, and if we don’t in fact purchase a water bottle, we are liable to be very uncomfortable and water-less while studying. It’s one thing to promote sustainability. It’s another to seriously inconvenience your students for it, at their expense. Those green flush handles on all the toilets are fantastic, but I’m never going to use them when I have nothing to pee out because I can’t drink water in the library. I’m seriously annoyed with whoever came up with this policy.

I do actually own a water bottle. But on that day, I didn’t bring it. Sometimes that happens. Let’s examine a variety of other situations in which a student may not be able to quench his thirst, shall we?

A young freshman is running through campus. It’s beautiful. Exercise is good for you. All is well. But all of a sudden, the jogger feels faint. Luckily she’s right near Whispers. Perfect! She can stop in and grab a drink of water. Oh, wait, no she can’t. She doesn’t have a water bottle… because she’s jogging! So she faints.

A senior burdened with books for his thesis trudges to campus to crank out some pages. His bag is full, his hands are occupied. He couldn’t even fit a water bottle in there. All of a sudden he’s smacked in the face with a massive headache, because, well, he’s writing a thesis. Luckily, he has some spare Advil in a tiny pocket of his bag. But he can’t choke it down, because there’s no water. So he sits there in misery, can’t get any work done and then doesn’t graduate because he couldn’t complete his thesis in time.

All of this because there are no water cups in Whispers. Ask yourselves, policy makers, “Are those extra green points worth it?” I know we live in some idyllic college society where we are supposed to live in some magically sustainable barter-based utopia, but even utopias need water. Also, while you’re at it, remove those gates on the overpass. People are still biking. And young lovers walking home now have to separate at every gate. Do it for the romantics.

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