VSTEP, evil cartel

Dear Editor,I’m going to have to go ahead and agree with Mr. Jowett on this one. VSTEP’s efforts to ban bottled water from campus are a waste of time and a misallocation of good intentions.  Can you imagine that, in a country fighting two wars, with 50 million uninsured, a perpetually increasing gap in wealth between the haves and have-nots, a grave energy crisis on the horizon  and an indifferent citizenry, people are actually spending their time trying to ban bottled water from campus? Get real. VSTEP activists argue that public water is more rigorously tested. It’s cleaner and safer, they say — better for you. Bottled water is filled with dangerous bacteria and scary carcinogens. Baloney. Bottled water is safe, convenient, delicious and allows consumers peace of mind. Ask Erin Brockovich if she drinks bottled or tap. But there’s so much waste! There’s just soooo much waste. Well, yeah, that’s true. It’s also true that almost every food product we buy comes in packaging destined for the landfills. Even the many tons of tofu and hummus that VSTEP members eat annually are probably wrapped in plastic. Why wouldn´t they try to ban fattening potato chips, or tooth-rotting candy or any other foodstuff whose packaging contributes to the filling of land? Why not try to ban the consumption of meat on campus, the production of which causes far more devastation than 10 or even 20 bottles of water for every man, woman and child?  Why ban water? It simply doesn’t make any sense. Or does it? I’ve come up with a theory.VSTEP is a cruel and twisted cartel of capitalist schemers hoping to rid the campus of bottled water under the guise of environmental friendliness, but with the true aim of monopolizing consumption of water through sales of their ecologically sound and economically logical VSTEP water bottles — for a “donation” of only one measly dollar. Via the injection of their propaganda into the campus media, they’re hoping to stir the public into an alarmed frenzy until the only apparent option for the student body is the forceful prohibition of all bottled water on campus. Once this first phase is complete, everyone will have to buy a refillable bottle, at which point VSTEP will up their recruitment efforts, have bottle stands at every corner and posters in every classroom, reminding students the dangers posed by bottled water and naturally, the cure, which is faith in VSTEP. Profits will skyrocket.When the timing is right and the market is in their hands, they will artificially lower the supply of bottles and a massive panic will ensue resulting in campuswide political instability. Next will come the dissolution of the current UVM administration, the installation of a VSTEP-controlled plutocracy and the end of beverage freedom at UVM.Is that what you want? Is it? Fight back against evil. Buy a bottle of water today. No, but seriously, you all want to ban bottled water? That’s absolutely ridiculous. Sincerely,Joe CollierClass of 2008