The following comes from a Sept. 16 story by Michael Busse, executive editor of the Loyolan newspaper of LMU.
The plan went like this: When first-year students walked into their residence halls in late August, they would be greeted with bright red reusable water bottles that were branded with LMU’s logo and references to the Class of 2019. The bottles would “help develop our Lions to have green minds and live sustainable lives,” according to Trevor Wiseman, associate director of resident services of Student Housing.
However, housing officials received a brief email on Aug. 26, just days before move-in, saying that the water bottles would not be distributed in residence halls. “At this time, Lane Bove and Rich Rocheleau have agreed, it is better for LMU not to have Student Housing issue water bottles,” Director of Student Housing Steven Nygaard wrote in the email. No further reason was given to faculty familiar with the situation, including officials in LMU Sustainability and Campus Recreation, who had agreed to contribute funds to pay for the bottles.
The recommendation to halt the giveaway originated in the office of Business Services and was approved in Student Affairs, where Bove and Rocheleau serve as senior vice president for student affairs and associate vice president for student life, respectively.
“It really came down to this particular business contract and financial arrangements of the University,” said Rocheleau, who added that Bove received the idea to ban the bottles from Ray Dennis, associate vice president of auxiliary management and business services, who manages the University’s contracts with outside businesses, including Coca-Cola and Sodexo. “Basically that was it. That was the overall deciding factor,” said Rocheleau.
The 1,300 bottles, which the Student Housing Office purchased months ago, currently sit in boxes. To keep them out of the students’ hands, Business Services purchased the bottles, and hopes to distribute them at alumni barbecues, summer camps, “or something like an open house or a preview day,” according to Dennis.
LMU is well-known for being a green campus; however, the halting of the water bottle giveaway has raised questions as to whether that term has more to do with the environment or with money….