Garrett missing-water mystery solved

Brandy Warren

There are certain inalienable rights we, as American citizens have. Freedom of speech, the freedom to pick your own religion and the right to peaceably assemble.

On behalf of Herald reporter Jay Lively, I’m proposing another right – the right to drink free, or at least cheap, 22 ounce glasses of water in Garrett Food Court.

Let’s do a comparison. I can go to T.G.I. Friday’s order a mudslide and have as much free water as I want. And someone will bring it to me. I don’t even have to get up for it.

Since the average meal in Garrett costs about as much as one mudslide at Friday’s, getting free water with both only seems fair.

But Jay has a better reasoning than I do for getting free water. he’s pretty health conscious. I, obviously, am not.

For weeks the grizzly, parched Jay has been asking me to write an opinion piece about how ridiculous the water situation is in Garrett.

For him it’s a matter of principle.

Americans don’t drink enough water as it is. Jay said that drinking more water lessens the appetite. If people drank more water, they’d eat less and therefore be healthier.

Easy concept. It’s a strong enough argument to make me want to start a campus-wide campaign for free, or at least cheap, water.

Water was available in the fountain dispensers in previous semesters, allowing thirsty students to get a free 22 ounce cup of water. But the water dispensers were taken out of the food court when Garrett was renovated this summer.

Now, there is still free water downstairs, but it’s like finding an oasis in the desert. Wedged between hot coffee and hot cappuccino, a clear plastic pitcher full of ice water sits waiting for the taking. Don’t get an Aramark cup though. Complimentary cups are available – a stack of 5-ounce clear plastic Solo dessert cups. Some of my other colleagues kindly refer to the complimentary cups as urine samples. Help yourself.

Or, students can treat themselves to a $1.19 20-ounce bottle of Aquafina water, which by the way is 19 cents more than the same bottle of water one can purchase from vending machines around campus. Several of these bottles are located in the deli refrigerator next a wide assortment of Dole bottled juices.

For the same price, they can get a 22 ounce soda with ice. Add a dime and enjoy a 32 ounce drink. For $1.39, enjoy 44 ounces.

To get the equivalent of Western’s 44 ounce Big Gulp, a Western student would have to walk through the line carrying nine urine-sample sized cups.

My investigative journalist side kicked in and finally just asked why there wasn’t free, or cheap, water available.

An Aramark boss told me the water would be back on the fountain very soon. They were taken off when Pepsi put new machines in the food court over the summer.

After the water dispenser is installed, students will be charged 25 cents for a 22 ounce cup.

It’s not free, but hey, it’s better than nothing.

I guess my personal campaign for free or cheap water has come is finished. At least I won.

Brandy Warren is a junior print journalism major from Louisville.