Dining Services adds fee for water

Getting a free cup of water may not be as easy for students anymore.

Previously, at all dining locations, students could get a cup of water at no charge. Dining Services has begun to charge 25 cents for a cup of water during late night at Marco’s Pizza.

Mike Paulus, the director of Dining Services, said the reason for the cups being charged is because of a water fight.

“We had a group of students who felt it was a game and were using our cups full of water to have a water fight in the Union,” he said. “When they were challenged on it, they threw the water at my attendant and ran away. They can now pay for it.”

Paulus said another reason they began to charge for water is the cost of the cups, straws and lids.

“No one gives me the cups for free, the lids for free or the straws for free,” he said.

Paulus said he doesn’t want to make all of the dining halls charge for water, but if this continues to be a problem it may be considered.

If students purchase food they do still get water for free. The only time they are charged is if they are getting only water.

“Do our cashiers or associates have the discretion to not charge for a cup of water if someone needed one? Absolutely,” Paulus said.

Sarah Meyer, the marketing director for Dining Services, said the amount of people in the lines who wanted to get a cup of water without ordering food was causing people to not get in line because it appeared to be much longer than it actually was.

Although there was money being lost on the cups, lids and straws, the bigger issue was the service being provided to students.

“It wasn’t quite as big of an issue with the money as more so the customer service, and the staff having to spend a lot of time doing that for students, and not spending time on the students who wanted to purchase food,” Meyer said.

Meyer said she thinks the employees will enforce the charge because they are the ones who brought it to the attention of management.

“Usually when we ask our employees to do something they do it,” she said. “It came from them.”

Freshman Rebecca Wait said she thinks Marco’s charging for water is a good move by the University.

“I think it’s going to be positive, people can go get water other places,” she said. “I don’t think it’s hard to go to the water fountain.”

The goal of charging for water is very straight forward, Meyer said.

“We’re hoping that it can reduce the lines and help with the customer service,” Meyer said.