Student Assembly to initate new water bottle program

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February 5, 2010

3:05 AM

The College of William and Mary Student Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that will help fund a four-day event about sustainability issues surrounding plastic water bottles.

The Student Environmental Action Coalition has been working on its “Take Back the Tap” campaign to raise student awareness about problems associated with buying bottled water.

“We’re going to be giving away 900 bottles … to students on campus,” SEAC member Dylan Reilly ’12 said.

Students will be asked to sign a pledge to avoid purchasing bottled water when they receive the reusable bottles.

Reilly came to Tuesday’s SA meeting with the hope of securing the additional funds needed to bring Elizabeth Royte, author of the book “Bottlemania,” to campus during the event.

“All we need is another $500 to get her to come to campus,” he said.

SEAC has already raised $2,400 for the event and received an additional $2,200 from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Roy R. Charles Center, Aramark, the Wendy and Emery Reves Center and the Mason School of Business.

The Bottled Water Awareness Act, which provided SEAC with the additional $500 from the consolidated reserve, was passed by unanimous consent. The four-day event will take place Feb. 15-18, with stations set up across campus.

“They’ve done a really good job planning this event,” Sen. Brittany Fallon ’11 said. “This is a really good job of outsourcing funding. I am a big fan of this.”

The SA also passed the Help Haiti Now Act unanimously. The bill allocates $1,000 from the SA off-campus account to William and Mary Supports Haiti, a Haiti earthquake relief organization, to print 200 T-shirts. Shirts will be sold for $10, and proceeds will be sent to the University of Fondwa, Haiti’s only degree-awarding university.

“The university has been significantly damaged,” Sen. Kristin O’Conner J.D. ’10 said. “I don’t think we’ll have trouble at all selling 200 shirts or more.”

The SA debated increasing the number of shirts printed, but decided to print more shirts only if demand persists after the first 200 sell out.

“We don’t want to be losing money on this,” Sen. Steven Nelson ’10 said.

The Open Miller Hall Act, a bill to keep Alan B. Miller Hall open to non business majors at all hours, passed 18 to 0.

Currently, all students pay $150 annually in facility fees for Miller, although the building is closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday to students who are not enrolled in business classes.

A Facebook group devoted to opening Miller to all students has 1,054 members.

Bills to be discussed in future weeks include the SC Free Pool Act, which would allocate $1,000 from the SA’s consolidated reserve to allow students to use the pool tables in the Sadler Center free-of-charge.

The SA is also working to re-establish office hours.

“We should be there if students want to come talk to us,” Sen. Jill Olszewski ’12 said.

Office hours are tentatively set for Wednesday evenings in Lodge 1.

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