Take Back The Tap could fulfill its goal of phasing out bottled water on campus as soon as the 2015 fall semester.
The statement differs from what university officials said before, that it would not consider renegotiation of their contracts with Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. to eliminate bottled water until 2017, when the contracts come up for renewal.
Director of University Health Services Thomas Trionfi said the university now sees it appropriate to approach the issue with more flexibility.
“If the entire campus, students and faculty, supported the efforts of TBTT, then I would work with both Pepsi and Coke on their contracts to not offer plain bottled water in their vending machines and through the campus convenience stores beginning the fall semester of 2015,” Trionfi said in an email.
Trionfi previously said he was wary of implementing any changes prior to 2017.
“While our contracts do allow for us to determine what we want sold in them, we would prefer to not adversely impact our partners unnecessarily,” Trionfi told Central Michigan Life on Dec. 4.
Armada sophomore Vincent Roncelli said Trionfi was willing to move the date up to 2015 because of the support the issue recently found in the Student Government Association House and Senate.
“With Take Back The Tap’s recent legislation passed through both Senate and House, Trionfi could not deny that the student body is in favor of phasing out bottled water,” Roncelli said.
Take Back The Tap still has to gain support of several groups on campus, Trionfi said, including the Academic Senate, Residence Hall Association, Faculty Association and the Panhellenic Association, an umbrella organization for fraternities and sororities.
Vice President of Take Back The Tap Mariah Urueta said the RHA and Greek Life were already represented under the SGA, and Take Back The Tap will be focusing their future efforts on the Faculty Association.
“We are planning on getting support from faculty and plan to do so by emailing department heads,” the Waterford junior said. ” (We will also) schedule meetings with them if they would like.”
Urueta said despite the university’s recognition of TBTT’s efforts, there is still a long way for the organization to go.
“We are excited to see us gain headway on our campaign,” Urueta said. “Our main focus, for the time being, will be gaining support, because we realize that we still have much work to do.”