ASCSU passes controversial water bottle bill

Natalia Sperry


Editor’s Note: Since the time of filming, ASCSU ratified Cole Wise as the new Vice President.

The Associated Students of Colorado State University met on Feb. 7 to vote on the controversial Water Bottle Bill

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The Water Bottle Bill, written by Senator Kevin Sullivan and Tristan Syron, Chair of University Facility Fee Advisory Board, passed on a vote of 18-1-11. 

Man drinking milk.
One of the creators of the Water Bottle Bill Tristan Syron, chugs his milk in celebration of the Water Bottle Bill being passed during ASCSU’s Senate meeting on Feb. 2, 2018. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

The bill was amended to reduce the allocation of Senate Discretionary Funds by half, from $22,000 to $11,500, according to Senator Josh Williams. From that fund, $500 would go towards creating plaques which will be placed above the new water bottle refilling stations and credit ASCSU with the source of the funding. 

Any remaining funds will be returned to Senate, at which time they can vote on either installing more stations or allocating the money for other purposes, according to Syron. 

Whereas the previous version of this bill would finance a retrofitting of 7 to 11 existing water fountains, the final version will create exactly 7 in sequential order as follows: 

    • 2 in the University Center for the Arts
    • 1 in Clark A 
    • 1 in Clark C 
    • 1 in the Visual Arts Building
    • 1 in Johnson Hall
    • 1 in Engineering 

Former Vice President Mike Lensky spoke as a member of the gallery to explain his administration’s decision to veto the original bill last year. Lensky said he did not speak for former President Daniela Pineda Soracá.

“Last year’s needs were way different from this year’s needs. We vetoed it not because it was a bad bill, but because we had different priorities,”said Lensky. “Last year we saw this bill as coming to the right place at the wrong time.” 

Senators such as Riley Breitenbach questioned the sustainability and value of the water refill stations. 

“I think the only way to make a critical decision on this is to go back to the constituents we represent,” Breitenbach said in support of a proposed motion to delay the bill. That motion failed 12-18-2. 

Senator Alissa Huber said she supported the bill because it offered a real opportunity for ASCSU to provide some necessary resources to the students. 

“I feel like we could do something here that helps some students. Not everyone is going to be happy with every single decision that we make, but I do think that for one the stations in the UCA and in Clark A would help a lot of people,” Huber said. “It helps students.” 

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According to Syron, once ASCSU President Michael Wells signs the bill, the project can begin in some areas, like the Visual Arts building, within the next few weeks, while others in high traffic areas such as Clark will have to wait until Spring Break. 

“I think at the end of the day, we’ve been very internally focused for a long time. I’m glad Kevin and I could be part of the turning point to say it’s time to look externally,” Syron said. “It’s time to look beyond those doors and say, ‘How can we help you?'”

Collegian reporter Natalia Sperry can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @natalia_sperry