SSMU Institutes Ban on Water Bottle Sales in University Centre
At the February 5, 2009 General Assembly, students joined forces and took a small but firm step towards sustainability. A motion was passed that called for the end of the sale of bottled water in the University Centre (Shatner). It read:
The SSMU is now mandated by the undergraduate student body to stop the sale of bottled water in the Shatner Building; to lobby the McGill administration to eliminate the sale and distribution of bottled water on the McGill campus; to distribute information to all clubs and services, and to the student body on issues pertaining to bottled water and to promote the sustainable alternative of already readily available tap water, and other sustainable methods of water distribution such as water coolers, re-usable glasses, etc.
Dana Holtby of TapThirst, an initiative aimed at promoting awareness about the costs of pre-packaged goods at McGill University, had this to say:
TAPthirst is very excited regarding the progress made by SSMU towards eliminating bottled water on campus and educating the student body on water issues. This is a step towards achieving a bottled water free campus such as that of the University of Winnipeg and Memorial University. Bottled water issues are a starting point to addressing greater water consumption issues at our university and we hope that SSMU continues to champion ethical water consumption.
– Dana Holtby, TAPthirst (Tap Drinkers Against Privatization)
As of October, 2009, tenants in the Shatner Building have been instructed to sell the remaining water bottles in-stock and no longer purchase bottled water for resale. It is the hope of the Students’ Society that this will not only reduce McGill’s wastestream but also establish a precedent for other student unions to follow.