I am thirsty. No, not the Tinder-swiping, Woads-going, Frat-hopping thirsty. Like, consumption of liquids thirst. Preventing-myself-from-dying-of-dehydration thirst. H 2 Oh-my-god-get-your-hands-off-my-Nalgene thirst.
Water is always on my mind. That may be partially because my brain is composed of 73 percent water, giving it some sort of voodoo stranglehold on my thought process, but also because without it, I would look like one of those earthworms that tried and failed to traverse my driveway in the middle of summer.
I believe that part of what makes a university great is the hydration level of its students. Overall, I have to say Yale does an okay job. I can go to any sink and fill up my water bottle with cold, clean Connecticut tap water. We even have our very own brand of water that you can buy at Durfee’s! Cool!
However, if Yale is truly dedicated to the hydration of its students, there is a change that needs to be made: Commons needs a second soda fountain that dispenses water.
Commons at Schwarzman Center has a seemingly endless supply of drinks to fit pretty much anyone’s needs. Feel like your bones are brittle? Choose between skim and 2 percent milk. Like the taste of milk but don’t like that your body can’t digest lactose? Drink some Lactaid whole milk or Organic Rice Dream Rice Drink from the fridge. They almost taste like milk!
But I am a simple man. I don’t indulge in Fuze Sweet Tea or Pibb Xtra. I’m not looking to fill my stomach with a Dr. Pepper knockoff. I just want water.
For this reason, it is extremely infuriating that between the two soda fountains, there is only one dispenser that has the coveted drink.
Water is the most popular drink in the dining hall. I know this because I am extremely intelligent. Even with a few dozen options for drinks from Fruit Punch Powerade to orange guava juice, I’d imagine that at any given meal, more than half of the dining hall’s inhabitants drink water.
However, out of the 16 drink nozzles on the two commons soda fountains, only one provides what people crave.
When I’m sitting in Commons, I watch people walk up to one of the soda fountains in search of water, only to discover that Stephen Schwarzman ’69 does not care about their hydration levels. I’ve even seen an entire group of tourists walk up to the waterless fountain, crowding around it confusedly, attempting to figure out what cruel joke God is playing on them.
Why are we putting people through this struggle? We are Yale University. Our endowment is larger than Iceland’s gross domestic product. Can’t we give the people what they want? Especially when what they want is a resource that we have in abundance. We’re not Stanford!
Even in my third year at Yale, I sometimes mix up which machine dispenses water, end up at the wrong one and feel like releasing an anguished wail that can be heard within the deepest annals of Woodbridge Hall. And before we get any further, yes, I know that there are also three tanks filled with spa water, but does anyone on this campus enjoy cucumber-infused water?
We, the students of Yale, cannot stand for this any longer. We must demand that the University provide a second water nozzle.
When Michael Herbert ’16 was president of the Yale College Council, he mounted an aggressive campaign to get whole milk in Commons. After a several-month-long media crusade, the effort paid off. Commons got whole milk. Though several of his more ambitious efforts were thwarted — Durfee’s dinner swipes, for instance — it was at least amusing to see YCC able to influence some sort of change, no matter how small. As YCC Vice President Christopher Bowman ’18 said in the News: “Unfortunately, that’s University bureaucracy, and it forces us as students to push for change over a multiyear time frame.”
It shouldn’t take such a Herculean effort to achieve such a minor change on Yale’s campus. I understand the need for patience — especially when dealing with a large bureaucracy that has to deal with arguably more important things.
But I’m not talking about overhauling the meal plan or introducing gender-neutral freshmen housing or even changing the name of a college. I’m talking about replacing one of the two Minute Maid Lite Lemonade dispensers with one that pumps out water.
I want to know that Yale is listening. However, I worry that soon, because my throat is so parched, I will have no voice left at all to express my many important ideas to the administration.
Please Yale, put an extra water dispenser in Commons. Students will be better hydrated and will also have radiant, glowing skin.
Also, while you’re at it, can we please have larger ice cream scoopers?
Jacob Sweet is a junior in Hopper College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .