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COLUMN: Where Have All The Bubblers Gone?

An Open Letter

Heights Editor

Published: Sunday, February 23, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 19:02

Note: To clarify, “bubbler” is another term for “drinking fountain” and, while it is also used in areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, it was originally coined in 1889 in Kohler, Wis. with the novel—and ultimately unsanitary—establishment of the bubbling faucet. I know, trivial detail, but what can I say, I’ve got to take pride in my humble state’s accomplishments, especially when I cannot legally consume or am intolerant to its leading commodities—beer and cheese. Also, S/O to Wikipedia for helping a girl out.  

Bubblers? … Bubblers? … Bubblers? 

From your complete absence in several residence halls to your scarcity in dining halls and many older administrative buildings, one might assume that you’ve been skipping class at Boston College for some time now. But I promise, the BC campus needs you more than Sloane and Cameron ever will in terms of both convenience and sustainability, and I’m sure it’ll prove itself a far better influence in the long haul, too—and with a far less ’80s approach. 

You’re being replaced: $10.99 Dasani 24-packs from On-the-Fly mini-marts all across campus are usurping your entire existence, one wasteful, 12-fluid-ounce plastic bottle at a time. You’ve got to stop this, or before long, there will be absolutely no reason to buy the multi-colored, overpriced BC Nalgene and Camelbak water bottles from the Bookstore—and then what will become of the vast and intimidating world of Plex accessorizing?! How will BC biddies ever match their precious Lululemon attire tastefully?! How will BC bros ever get swole?! And how on earth will the students learn to cope in the face of such an aquapocalypse?! Now almost completely undeterred, God only knows whether Diet Coke—the enemy—will strengthen its addictive hold on the student body, faculty, and staff in lieu of adequate water sources….

We’re disappointed in you, Bubblers—you’ve really let the BC community down. 

With this in mind, however, I do realize that installing you and your fellow water fountains in many of the older residence halls would be exceedingly expensive given the plumbing systems already in place. But the fact remains that, because you are nowhere to be found, the only sources for drinking water are the bathroom sinks, and this then causes many students to buy their own costly, purified bottled water from on- and off-campus sites at the environment’s great expense. (Truth be told, the restroom tap water is perfectly consumable, but a multitude of individuals pursues filtered water, which thus fosters neglect for the advantageous reduce-reuse-recycle mentality with widespread purchasing of plastic liquid containers from companies like Dasani, Aquafina, and Poland Spring.)

Within BC’s top campus initiatives—including recycling, energy usage, multifarious departmental policies, and “green” buildings—water conservation proves a significant sustainability challenge. In attempts to reduce water consumption and thereby preserve a sufficient amount of water in the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs—supplies that provide for all of the campus’ and a lot of greater Boston’s aqua needs—the BC administration advocates for taking shorter showers, leaving the water running for less time while brushing teeth, rinsing razors in the sink rather than under running water, refraining from using the toilet as a garbage disposal, and plugging the sink when washing dishes rather than letting the water run. (Please refer to the “Water Conservation Tips” stickers that bedeck each residence hall’s bathroom mirror.)  

While all of these tactics might help “slow the flow” and should certainly be employed, campus could definitely use your help, Bubblers, in honestly and adamantly conveying that “BC Conserves.” 

Anyway, I thought that writing this letter to you at least might be timely, considering the recent UGBC presidential and executive vice presidential elections and each team’s respective platform. On the campaign trail, both sets of candidates—Fiore-Chettiar-Marchese and Levine-Vergara—advocated for implementing greater “green” policies across campus to increase BC’s overall sustainability and reduce its waste. What better place to start, therefore, than with you, Bubblers! 

Therefore, on that note, stop faking sick, get out of bed, and pull yourself together, Bubblers, for the sake of the entire BC community. We all understand how effective your wise-guy, clammy hands-antics are—yes, even the exceptionally obtuse Ed Rooney—but enough is enough—the jig is up. Water is essential, and you are to be our generous benefactor. Your nonexistence is childish, stupid, borderline unhealthy, and incredibly wasteful, and we’re not in high school anymore, after all. 

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