June 6, 2017
By Simar Malhotra
In an initiative to reduce water waste and disposable plastic bottles, Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) is working with the ASSU to install refillable water bottle water fountains in Crothers Hall and Florence Moore Hall.
Crothers dorm currently does not have any water fountains; its fountains were removed in 2009 when the building was renovated. Students were encouraged to use the sinks instead to fill up their bottles. This decision was met with significant resistance and has recently resurfaced. ASSU Senator Matthew Cohen ’18 took up the issue when many students approached him about it.
“A lot of people were buying plastic water bottles — the kind that are not reusable,” Cohen said. “This is not environmentally friendly and a significant hassle for students.”
Newer dorms such as Meier Hall and Norcliffe Hall have bottle refilling stations, but older dorms do not.
“Those same resources must be there for all students,” Cohen said. “All housing options should have these basic amenities available.”
Elizabeth Trinh ’18, a former resident of Crothers, agreed that installing bottle refilling stations would be beneficial to students.
“I didn’t like using the sink because coming from Georgia, I had the perception that sink water was not filtered… [and] my water bottle was also too big to fit, so I would either go to Arrillaga or buy non-reusable water bottle packs,” said Trinh, adding that she bought two to three big packs of bottled water each quarter.
Trinh, who works at Encina Hall, also said that the refilling station there was convenient and helped her conserve plastic.
Cohen is working with R&DE on the project “Fountains For All.” The pilot program will be introduced in Crothers where R&DE will be installing bottle refilling stations on the third floor. The success of the pilot program will determine how widespread the bottle refilling stations become, according to Cohen.
“This is a great example of students and the administration working together to improve student wellbeing at Stanford,” Cohen said.
Contact Simar Malhotra at simar ‘at’ stanford.edu.