Senate discusses lending support to eliminating bottled water use on campus, confirms executive board positions


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Newly confirmed ASG vice president for academics Anna Rennich discusses her platform and initiatives she plans to pursue during the upcoming year at the weekly meeting Wednesday. ASG confirmed students for seven executive board positions.

Rebecca Savransky, Campus Editor

Associated Student Government discussed Wednesday lending support to an initiative that would outline a potential plan for Northwestern to completely eliminate its bottled water consumption by 2015 and confirmed several executive board positions.

The “Bottled Water-Free Northwestern” initiative, proposed by several members of the Pura Playa group, a project focused on plastic waste reduction run under Engineers for a Sustainable World, would require that the University stop selling bottled water in all on-campus locations.

“We see bottled water as a really unnecessary commodity,” said McCormick senior Megan Scherich, a member of Engineers for a Sustainable World and the Pura Playa project. “We’re identifying water (bottles) as something that isn’t necessary on campus. Students already have reusable water bottles. We have this great water infrastructure, and water bottles is a challenge that we can and really should be tackling.”

The legislation included several national statistics about water bottle consumption and the amount of waste it produces, which the group used as further justification for this resolution. The measure will be voted on at next week’s meeting on April 30.

Students were also nominated and confirmed for seven executive board positions. The positions chosen were vice president of academics, community relations, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, public relations, services and student life.

Weinberg junior Anna Rennich was approved for the position of vice president of academics, which was formerly held by Weinberg senior Sofia Sami. Rennich said her platforms were focused on several initiatives including accessibility problems and increasing service learning opportunities at NU.

For the position of vice president of community relations, Weinberg sophomore Kevin Harris was nominated and confirmed for his second year of service. He said he enjoyed committing to this position last year and hopes to continue improving on and coining new projects during his next term.

“I feel like there’s a lot more still left to do,” Harris said. “I’m really excited to finish what I’ve started over the past year.”

SESP junior Austin Romero was confirmed for the position of vice president of diversity and inclusion, formerly held by Medill-Bienen sophomore Thaddeus Tukes. Romero served as a co-founder of Sustained Dialogue this year and said his platform rests on the importance of increasing dialogue across campus to better target the problems NU students face and create the most effective solution.

“Northwestern is an incredibly diverse, multidimensional student body,” Romero said. “My platform I think is really based off of dialogue and just the incredible things that I have seen accomplished through dialogue. I know that there are lots of different viewpoints, lots of different perspectives.”

In an effort to improve energy efficiency and increase sustainability awareness across campus, Medill freshman Christina Cilento, the confirmed candidate for vice president of sustainability, said she has several initiatives she hopes to employ within the next year. She said her proposed goals include engaging campus about topics associated with sustainability through delving into environmental education for the student body and increasing collaboration with different student groups.

Medill junior Jaime Toplin will assume the position of public relations vice president, formerly held by ASG president Julia Watson. Toplin said she hopes to make ASG more accessible and increase collaboration, among other goals. Watson noted Toplin was also influential in managing the Campus Loop email list.

McCormick sophomore Christina Kim was confirmed to serve as vice president of services, taking the role of Weinberg junior Noah Kane. Kim’s platform included several initiatives focused on making NU services more student-centered and developing working relationships with different departments and entrepreneurial groups. Forming these ties on campus would give students the ability to discuss the next service the University needs and how to create these types of services, she said.

For the role of vice president of student life, SESP sophomore Chris Harlow will assume the position formerly held by Communication senior Anna Kottenstette. He said he has multiple goals for the upcoming year including increasing ASG accessibility and addressing mental health issues.

A member from J Street U, an organization in favor of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, requested money from the Project Pool to fund their spring speaker event on Tuesday. The motion was moved to old business due to the timeliness of the event, and Senate voted to grant the group the requested funds.

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