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Andrew Ikeman | News Editor

LAST WEEK, AS I walked into my 8:30 a.m. Criminal Justice and Penal Norms midterm, I was slightly nervous and wanted a drink of water. I journeyed out of the classroom and to the vending machine. My choices: Coke, Diet Coke, over-sugared apple juice, and vitamin juice water stuff. I settled on a Diet Coke and went to write my exam. Halfway through, I had a sip and, shocked by the carbonation that early in the morning, began a loud and violent coughing fit. Yes, very embarrassing.

The ban on the sale of water bottles on the University of Ottawa campus makes no sense. I can understand why you’d want to ban plastic bottles—they’re harmful to the environment and have a nasty tendency to wind up in landfills—but if we are going to ban them, why are we banning only the ones that contain the healthiest choice of drink?

Doctors have said time and time again that water is always your best choice. We’ve all heard the eight cups of water rule, and we’ve read the warnings against sugary pop, yet we still decide to ban the water bottles on campus.

I do try to fill up my reusable metal, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free water bottle, but sometimes I forget to grab it, or I can’t find a water fountain. What am I to do then? Drink my own piss?

I’m not saying we should reinstate the sale of water bottles—although I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it—but I am simply trying to understand why we are a campus that sells a ton of sugary, over-caffeinated drinks, which come in the same environmentally unfriendly form as the much-maligned water bottle. Pivik has around eight fridges full of Pepsi and Coca-Cola products. Why couldn’t that be replaced with two fountain-drink stations? They would use the more environmentally friendly cups and lids and have the added bonus of being cheaper for the university to run.

Obesity rates are a growing concern in Canada, with some estimates suggesting that it could surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable mortality. If it were up to me, the sale of all soft drinks would be banned on campus. In all honesty, I have been known to drink a bottle of Coke to wash down a shawarma, but if water were an option, I would go for it.

Apparently I am the rare type of person who prefers bottled water to tap. I prefer the taste, and the fact that it is cold. I always make sure I toss my used bottles into the recycling bin. Just because a lot of people don’t, doesn’t mean none of us do.

As it doesn’t seem that the U of O will be reinstating the healthy water bottle any time soon, I guess I will have to join the rest of this campus’ thirsty students as they choose between a rock and a hard place: carbonated sugar or carbonated aspartame. Yum yum.