The efforts to ban the sale of bottled water on campus is now supported by the Student Government Association.
Take Back the Tap passed legislation through both the SGA House and Senate on Monday night.
Although past attempts have failed to be passed through the Senate and therefore failed to fully gain support from the Student Government Association, this year’s legislation passed the House with 62 voting yes and 28 voting against. The Senate voted with 11 senators approving the motion, and five against, with two senators abstaining.
“We are beyond excited,” Caitlyn Richards, the member of Take Back The Tap who wrote the legislation, said. “It’s great, because now we have the student body’s official support.”
The legislation calls for a gradual suspension of the sale of bottled water.
Take Back the Tap has taken several steps already in pursuit of the ban, including reaching an agreement with Residence Life to distribute re-usable water bottles to incoming freshmen and to redesign a portion of the university’s water fountains to encourage student sustainability.
With the SGA backing, Richards said they will be able to make a more compelling case when they present their legislation to university officials.
“We’ve been waiting for a long time for this to happen,” Richards said.
SGA President and Macomb junior Justin Gawronski said the legislation will allow SGA to pursue Take Back the Tap’s goal with the endorsement of the student body.
“Now that the SGA does support the initiative, we can take a much more aggressive approach,” Gawronski said
Gawronski said how specifically the SGA will advocate for the policy has yet to be determined, but he believes that the SGA department who will be pursuing the ban is clear.
“We can work it into the sustainability committee easily,” Gawronski said. “With the new sustainability avenue that was established last year, we have the ability to give the motion any support that it needs.”