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Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Students should stop whining about the fountain

Students' attention is drawn to the Cullen Family Plaza Fountain and Reflecting Pool as its fence is removed and its pool is refilled with water. | Photo by Justin Tijerina

The fountain will return with great impact on both the University’s community and water conservation. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

The fountain at the Cullen Family Plaza does not deserve the amount of complaining that it has gotten in these last few semesters.

You can talk about how it represents the University as a whole as much as you want but at the end of the day, it’s just a fountain.

And before the University drained it to be fixed, that fountain was leaking 21,000 gallons of water each day. But nobody wants to talk about that.

In the 1970s, the fountain was built with galvanized steel piping. More than 40 years later, those pipes need replacement with more robust PVC piping. Along with that, energy-friendly LED lights will replace the original light bulbs. After those repairs, the site will need maintenance less often than in the past — every 20 years as opposed to every three years.

If the University had not acted, word of the wastefulness would have made its way to news outlets, which would, in turn, use that information to lambaste the administration. Both decisions were equally unattractive, but they chose the best one.

They were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.

The other complaint was that they filled the fountain for Donald Trump, which is quite an incomplete statement. They filled the fountain because the GOP debate was held on campus with CNN on site to showcase attractive parts of the campus to the rest of the world during commercial breaks. 

Above ground, the fountain looks to have made zero progress, but all of the work so far has taken place beneath the surface. Ground-penetrating radar tests had to be performed in order to assess whether erosion had occurred beneath the fountain, creating pockets of air in need of refilling.

More and more people these days show concern for the environment and the colossal amount of waste that humans are responsible for. Take a step back, and realize that the University is standing up for those concerns with what they will implement to the fountain.

Now take a big breath, and don’t let something as trivial as a fountain ruin your day.

Assistant opinion editor Thomas Dwyer is a broadcast journalism sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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