Students drink water from sinks, as lack of water fountains on south campus remains unsolved.

Students living in South Campus residences, with the exception of those living in Moore Hall, have been drinking water from sinks because water fountains have been missing from residence halls since their construction.

Gregory, Roberts, McClure, and Nollen Hall, all located on South Campus, currently lack drinking fountains, but students do not regard this service absence as an issue.

According to David Siebert, Facilities Management Director, “there have only been three concerns about not having water fountains in South Campus over the last 25 years,” with the exception of former Student Government President Devin Tyler ’15, who “asked for the construction of water bottles filling stations last year.”

“I don’t think the lack of water fountains is a huge issue, but it is certainly costing students more money,” Nollen Hall resident Jacob Badagliacco ’19 said.

According to the Illinois Plumbing Code, “whenever a drinking fountain is required…bottled drinking water or a water dispensing faucet (water station) may be substituted for a drinking fountain, provided that drinking water is accessible to the public.”

Lake Forest College has ensured that water will be available, as water bottles are sold for $2.00 each in vending machines located in the lobby of each building; to which Siebert said, “everybody’s got a sink, too. It’s not that a water fountain is the only place to get water.”

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But the Illinois Plumbing Code also mentions, “drinking fountains shall not be installed as an integral part of or connected to any other plumbing fixture, such as a lavatory or sink,” which is how water is currently accessed on Roberts, McClure, Gregory, and Nollen Halls.

While students on South Campus may have access to water from sinks, it is believed that equal access to water resources should be a priority. “Moore has its own water fountain. I believe this should be a necessary inclusion for every hall, and I feel that most students would appreciate having it as a resource,” Badagliacco ’19 said.

Adding water fountains to the building has not been a problem for Lake Forest College. Last year, students in Blackstone Hall requested for and received a new water fountain soon after the previous one broke. Residents on South Campus can also request water fountains, even though their inclusion would represent a high cost for the College, as the plumbing system might have to be changed.

“The Administration is not against putting drinking fountains on South, but the plumbing to put drinking water fountains there, with the exception of Moore, does not exist. The cost to do this is high. If the students on South want drinking fountains, then they must advocate for them,” Chair of the Student Government’s Grounds and Development Committee John Brown ’16 said.

The College has made changes to its facilities in the past regarding student interests, like the prairie in Middle Campus and the new Johnson Science Center. The first step to change something on campus in favor of the community is being informed and engaging actively.

Published in Stentor News.

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