Student seeks to “take back the tap” at CMU

One of Samantha’s Schleich’s favorite quotes comes from a professor who said “think globally, act locally and start in your own backyard.” As campus coordinator of the new registered student organization, “Take Back the Tap”, Schleich is truly living this quote.

“Take Back the Tap” is a campaign that seeks to end the sale of bottled water at Central Michigan University. According to Schleich, there are many reasons to end the sale of bottled water on campus; the biggest is the negative impact bottled water has on the environment.

Some water companies come into areas to take water and bottle it without permission from the local residents. This happened in Mecosta County, and though a state court judge ruled in 2002 that the removal of water had harmed the community residents and the environment, three years later the decision was reversed, making it legal for companies to bottle water there again.

“Take Back the Tap” is currently in the initial stages of its campaign as it seeks to get petitions signed to ban bottled water. The group is planning a rally at the end of October. They hope to bring the issue to the Student Government Association at the beginning of November to call for a vote.

Despite the contracts Central has with the companies that sell water, Shleich feels like her goal to end the sale of bottled water is attainable.

“There hasn’t been any opposition to it,” Shleich said. “It’s just getting people to know about the issue.”

According to Shleich, another reason tap water is better than bottled water involves health concerns, as there is no Food and Drug Administration regulation for water that is bottled and sold in the same state.

“The bottle itself has been known to leak chemicals into the water,” Shleich said.  “The longer the water is left in the bottle the more contaminants enter the water.”

Another reason is financial. Students would save a tremendous amount of money buying gallons of water over bottled water or simply by using tap.

“Water is incredibly expensive and people don’t even realize it,” Shleich said.

Shleich, who is an environmental and political science senior developed an interest in this issue when she interned for the Food and Water Watch this summer. She continued her internship by forming “Take Back the Tap” at Central, which is an extension of the Food and Water Watch and is a nationwide campaign centered around college campuses.

“There is no problem with tap,” Shleich said. “So why not use it?”



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  1. 1
    Jacob Pollock

    Thank you very much for talking about Take Back the Tap its a very important matter that needs advertising. I hope to see more about Take Back the Tap and its up coming events in November need to be advertised. In November our group plans to have a movie in the first week, a rally in the second week, and present SGA with the petitions in the third week. Thank you again for taking the time to speak about our groups efforts to rid CMU’s campus of bottled water.

  2. 2

    I would like to thank Adrianna for writing such a great article. This article really shows the importance of not drinking bottled water and lays out the basis for our new student-led campaign against bottled water.

    If you would like to get more involved with the campaign, please attend one of our weekly meetings. Meetings are held Thursdays at 5:30PM in the Park Library, Room 423. If you’re not able to attend Thursdays, we have a short re-cap meeting on Mondays at 7PM in the Sweeney Lobby. Joining Take Back the Tap is as easy as attending a meeting.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

  3. 3

    I really appreciate this article being written and posted to inform others of the importance of not drinking bottled water. Not only does bottled water affect your personal health, but the environment as well. It is important to get the word out there as much as possible – so thank you, Adrianna.

    Take Back the Tap of Central Michigan University is always welcoming new members. Our meetings are at 5:30 PM on Thursdays in the Library in room 423. If you are unavailable at that time we also offer short informational meetings on Monday at 7 PM in the Sweeney Lobby.

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