On Campus

Ryerson goes bottled water free

Plastic containers condemned

On March 11, 2010, I was duped.

Yes, the collaborative efforts of the Canadian Federation of Students, the Sierra Youth Coalition, and the Polaris Institute got me.

Apparently, “Bottled Water Free Day” is nothing as it sounds. I know; I was shocked too! Not only did I not get my free bottle of water, but I found out that the very cap I untwist to seek refreshment can unearth a Pandora’s box of campus sin!

Defeated and embarrassed, I went home to mull over my misstep.

What was I missing? Clearly, Evian and Nestle were up to something dire; why else would student leaders be using my fees to campaign for something completely not student related?

Then I saw the press release: “Ryerson pledges to be first bottled water free campus in Ontario.”

OK, OK, something’s definitely going on; or else, why would my university pledge to eliminate all bottled water from campus? A band-aid move that reeks of appeasement? When everyone knows that prohibition will only create resentment? And that the way to get people to really align with your views is through reasoned argument and persuasion, not mandating its acceptance?

I stared at my half-empty Dasani. Oh, you’re trouble, aren’t you? That’s why my university has decided to stunt one of our few healthy consumer trends. Why the Ryerson Student Union has suddenly been granted the right to decide what others can purchase on campus?

Finally, after hours of reflection, I’m down to three possible conclusions:

•    Bottled water was the root cause of the 5-3 upset suffered by the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team to the United States in Vancouver this past February
•    The grooves on many water bottles somehow serve as capitalist symbols
•    Bottled water is responsible for high tuition fees

You decide…

-Photo by Cesar Vivas