SGA passes vote on new water fountains

Photo courtesy of Katelyn Ditzler - The new fountains will filter water and have an attached filling station. Elmhurst College’s Student Government Association (SGA) passed a majority vote proposal for the replacement of numerous water fountains across campus at their Mar. 3 meeting.

All the water fountain replacements are going to be attached with a filling station and will filter the water according to Service Director Mark Wakely

The water fountains that are replacing the old ones are Elkay EZ coolers, of which are all priced at exactly $998. Ten new fountains will be ordered which will come out to $9,776.28 including shipping.

There will be ten locations in total that will receive these new water filing station in the residence halls, A.C Buehler Library, Irion Hall, and the Mill Theater.

The proposal was made in September 2015 and has had two failed votes on Dec. 10 and Jan. 11 due to a low number of representatives, but on Feb. 11 SGA voted with nine new representatives enabling them to properly vote on the bill.

The proposal was also met with opposition by SGA representative Alex Romano who argued that SGA was not prepared to vote due to overlooking the time it would take to install the fountains, the pricing details, inaccurate student body feedback, and misunderstanding of the facts.

“The attempt at a Dec. 10 vote was premature, the attempt at a Jan. 11 vote was premature, as well as the attempt of the Feb. 25 vote,” Romano said in the meeting. “All premature because we did not have all the updated knowledgeable facts that we needed for an informed decision.”

Romano’s proposed amendment was to purchase three Elkay EZH200 filters at $640 each totaling in a budget plan of $3,782.

The intent was to gauge student reactions to the water fountains and receive proper feedback and determine whether other fountains should be installed.

  The amendment did not reach a sufficient amount of votes as Katelyn Ditzler, vice president of administration, did not accept the amendments to the proposal.

“I didn't see a reason to decrease the proposed number of locations. We already had six stations on campus, so to me, it didn't make sense to only add three more,” Ditzler said in an email interview. “The six current stations are popular, so the argument that we needed to measure the impact of three additional stations wasn't persuasive to me. The six current stations have proven to be beneficial, so ten more stations will be more beneficial than three more.”

The replaced water fountains will be installed over the next few weeks and some into the summertime.

Both Wakely and Ditzler expect a decrease of waste from the new proposal and be a service to the student body.

“The new stations will be available in academic buildings, as well as residence halls, so both commuter and residential students will benefit,” she said.  “It will also help us increase the sustainability of the college by decreasing plastic bottle waste.”

With the new amount of members that SGA has received, SGA plans on continuing more work now that they have passed the proposal on the water filing stations, including: working on handling the MAP grant, mental health issues, and new equipment for the sports facilities.

Pat Ackerman, vice president of marketing, alongside other new members of SGA have updated their bulletin board in the roost center welcoming any suggestions from the student body to SGA.

“Each week, I will be posting updates on what we are up to. Transparency is critical for any government, so we are hoping the board makes us more transparent,” he said. “Also, we have a suggestion envelopes for people who want us to know their concerns. This gives students an opportunity to speak outside of the feedback section.”

According to Ackerman, without these new members it would be hard for SGA to have quorum and is pleased with the new representatives SGA elected.

“I am really excited to work with our new reps. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious and you can definitely feel it during meetings,” he said.