Loyola University Chicago announced its plan to ban the sale of bottled water on Thursday following a year-long student campaign.
“It is exciting to see the leadership and commitment from the students on the topic of water,” said Aaron Durnbaugh, director of sustainability at Loyola, the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic university. “With our location on the banks of the greatest fresh water resource in the world, our drinking water could be taken for granted, but the students recognize its value and our responsibility to protect and preserve this resource for all.”
The campaign, called Uncap Loyola, was led by the Student Environmental Alliance (SEA), in partnership with Loyola’s Unified Student Government Association (USGA), and targeted bottled water as an environmental and social justice issue.
“We consider the sale of bottled water on campus in conflict with the Jesuit tradition and Loyola’s mission ‘to be in service of humanity through learning, justice and faith.’ We feel that safe and accessible water is a fundamental human right and must not be handled in ways that put profits over people,” SEA and USGA representatives said in a joint statement.
The university will remove bottled water from dining service venues and catering starting in the fall semesters, and will be phased out from vending starting in 2013.