Harvard University students agreed by vote that plastic single-use water bottles should no longer be sold on campus, leaving the fate of plastic water bottles in jeopardy at the Ivy League institution.
While campus administrators cannot be forced to go along with the student vote’s outcome, organizers of the ballot measure say they expect cooperation from Harvard officials, who will be lobbied by the student government to comply.
“We will be working with the administration to make sure student wishes are met,” Katrina Malakhoff, chairperson of the Harvard Environmental Action Committee, said in an email to The College Fix.
Sixty-four percent of students who voted in Harvard’s fall referendum late last month supported “ending the sale and distribution of plastic non-reusable water bottles on campus (including at Harvard cafes and Crimson Catering events) and making drinking water more accessible through the installation of additional water fountains and reusable water bottle filling stations.”
Harvard University officials did not respond to phone calls and emails from The College Fix asking if they would support the student referendum’s majority vote to end the sale of bottled water on campus.
Malakhoof, in her email, said “now that students have shown their support, we are optimistic that these stations can be installed within the next few months.”
Funding for the new water stations will be shouldered by a grant the environmental action committee received, as well as support from the Harvard Office for Sustainability and other campus coffers, Malakhoff said.
Single-use plastic water bottles are the latest environmental trending cause. Critics contend the environment is polluted once to create the plastic bottles, then again when they clog landfills, and further tout tap water as just as good if not better than bottled.