Hot water dispensaries will be installed—likely soon—throughout the River Campus Libraries, as the result of the winning proposal to the annual Students’ Association (SA) Government 5K Challenge. Junior Chenchen Yan submitted the victorious proposal, crowned last Friday, which called for hot water dispensaries to be installed in all of the River Campus Libraries to help studiers prepare tea, coffee, and the like.
Since it began its challenge in 2013, SA has allocated 5,000 dollars each year to put towards ideas students would like to see implemented on campus. Submissions are made in the fall, and students vote throughout the semester on their favorite one. Previous winners include printing at Wilson Commons, additional seating in ITS and Gleason Library, and a smoothie bar at Connections.
When asked what motivated her to propose the idea, Yan reflected on the culture shock she experienced when she first arrived in the U.S.
“I was so frustrated to find out that hot water, commonly seen in China as well as many other Asian countries, is so rare here,” she said.
Yan emphasized the importance of hot water in Chinese culture, saying, “It is a built-in, ingrained practice in everyday life.”
She believes the significance of winning the 5K Challenge goes beyond the achievement of hot water dispensaries.
“I regard my winning of the 5K Challenge not simply as the growing favor of tea, but more significantly, a triumph of cultural diversity on campus.”
Competing with the hot water dispensers were a variety of unique proposals, which included swings on the Eastman Quad, massage chairs, plastic bag reduction, free tampons in non-residential bathrooms, vending machines in Goergen Athletic Center selling workout supplements, and a location to rent recreational winter gear, such as sleds.
When asked if she is happy with this year’s winning idea, senior Amanda Pelisari said, “I always felt bad bugging the people at Connections for nothing more than hot water [because] I never buy anything. So now I can use all my instant coffee guilt free.”
Conversely, junior Joshua Gray wished that one of the other ideas had won, because he believes they’d bring a more “attractive feel” to campus.
“I think students would benefit from one of the other ideas more than hot water in the library, because we already have different venues on campus where you can get hot water if you need it for free. So why use the money towards something we already have on campus when you can make it more attractive?”
The relatively large budget for a small-scale proposal has received some criticism from UR students.
Senior Andrew Lam said, “It’s definitely not going to cost five thousand dollars for hot water. If you’re telling me that the entire five thousand dollars is going to be spent on hot water, then it’s a no for me.”
SA is awaiting the approval of the proposal by the Dean of Libraries, Mary Ann Mavrinac, but is working to implement it as soon as possible.