By Daniel Rothberg
The Faculty Academic Committee rejected the Prefect Council’s proposal to lift the ban on selling plastic water bottles in the cafeteria.
“I know that some good arguments have been made in favor of that proposal, but I don’t think we’ve tried hard enough to make an alternate idea work,” Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said after the January FAC meeting.
Plastic water bottles were removed from the cafeteria at the start of the 2009-2010 school year in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic consumed on campus.
After banning the sale of water in plastic bottles, the school installed filtered water machines in the cafeteria and spigots around campus.
Huybrechts said that the current setup is especially difficult for students who forget their reusable water bottle at home. To provide a remedy for this problem, the cafeteria will begin selling reusable bottles.
“A bottle of water used to cost $1.35 and [reusable bottles] will cost $4,” Huybrechts said. “If you do the math, that’s equivalent to three [plastic water] bottles. You could buy one of those every fourth day and still save money.”
In addition, Huybrechts said that the school plans to provide students with more information about plastic water bottles.
“Someone is going to facilitate some further education on this whole subject,” Huybrechts said. “Why should we care about the water bottle problem? I don’t think that has been communicated very well to the students.”
Despite the lack of support from FAC, the Prefect Council hopes to continue pushing its proposal in the future.
“I think this is obviously a pretty significant setback,” Head Prefect Chris Holthouse ’11 said. “We are not in a position now to just put the pedal to the metal and really fight through this because there obviously was some pretty significant dissent … from FAC. But we are certainly not calling it a day.”
Huybrechts said that if the ban proves ineffective in the future, the administration would be open to overturning the current policy.
“If this isn’t working, then it is pointless for us to try and fool ourselves,” Huybrechts said. “We don’t absolutely have to do this. But I think we need to try a little harder to make it work.”