ASUP announced the top 10 ideas for the Major Project Fund on Wednesday. For the most part, the list consists of pragmatic items such as bike racks, which would improve life on campus. But, no project is more necessary ed than a water fountain in St. Mary's.
This year's MPF needs to be spent on direct student need. Since 10 percent of the student government fee goes to the Major Project fund, the money should be used on a project that will benefit the greatest number of students.
By using last fall's MPF to lend support to the RISE campaign, ASUP used the money to show donors how invested students are in completing a new library and recreation center. The spring MPF brought back the Victory Bell, a victory for alums, who were reunited with a bygone symbol. The new lighting and tables in St. Mary's also came from the spring MPF, but the space is still missing the critical piece: a water fountain. With The Library closed for a year, St. Mary's is used more than ever.
The ban of selling water bottles on-campus makes water fountains and filling stations important for students to obtain water and stay hydrated while on-campus. Not having one in the student center is embarrassing.
Almost as embarrassing as when guest speakers, from coffee house singers to Army captains, ask for a glass of water during presentations and there is no readily-accessible source of water.
Hundreds of students flock to St. Mary's every week to attend events, do homework and meet friends. While not the most glamorous building on campus, it is one of the most used.
Using this semester's MPF for a water fountain would be a use that reflects the original intent of the fund. From its beginning in 2006, the Major Project Fund was intended to be used by ASUP to make improvements that positively impact the lives of students on campus. It wouldn't even take the full $20,000 to add a water fountain to St. Mary's. ASUP could likely complete multiple smaller projects with this year's MPF.
ASUP should not spend the money as a symbolic gesture, or for fundraising: bring the MPF back to what it was originally intended for. The most pressing student need is H2O in St. Mary's. Your less-dehydrated constituents will appreciate it.
Here is the full list of top 10 ideas for the MPF this year:
b Bike racks
b Outdoor seating
b Campus pub
b Club meeting room
b Fix-It bike repair
b Lighting for Fields/Schoenfeldt
b Major concert
b Megan Rapinoe speaking event
b Solar Panels
b St. Mary's drinking fountain
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