Water is one of our basic needs, but a poorly thought-out university policy fails to acknowledge this.
During the last football game, my sister and I rode the school-provided buses to the stadium. In an attempt to stay hydrated in the Miami sun, my sister brought an unopened water bottle with her. But before boarding the bus, the woman in charge of letting everyone on the bus stopped her to ask her to throw out her water bottle, claiming that absolutely no food or drinks were allowed on the bus.
I tried explaining that my sister wasn’t going to drink the water until she arrived at the game, but ultimately she had to discard her water bottle. Although the rule is designed to keep students from bringing alcoholic beverages and messy foods on board, it seems to go overboard by preventing someone from bringing water.
Even Sun Life Stadium, with its tightened security, allows water bottles to be brought inside. This misguided rule helps to keep visible food and drinks off the bus; however, because the bus attendants do not check students’ bags, I have seen students bring alcohol, snacks and water bottles on board unhindered.
An email I received from University of Miami athletics before the Florida game reminded students to “drink plenty of water,” a suggestion that should apply to all games.
But if the school won’t let students bring water to the games, their only options are using the sparse water fountains at the stadium (which, in my experience, almost never work) or paying $4 for a bottle of water.
Since neither of those two options is particularly appealing, many students will choose to go without any form of hydration during the game. This lack of fluids, especially when magnified by the heat, causes dehydration, and has even led to students fainting during the games or suffering other dangerous health problems.
In order for students to heed the university’s advice and drink plenty of water, they need to have access to plenty of water. The easiest way to accomplish that goal is to allow students to bring water bottles on the buses to the game.
The “no food or drink” rule can stand as it is, but water should be excluded from the ban. It’s either that, or lower the price of a water bottle to something more student-friendly.
Madelyn Tarr is a junior majoring in international studies and Spanish.