Pass/Fail: Obama supports net neutrality; Bottled water not poor choice

By Taylor Reese

Pass: Obama supports net neutrality

Net neutrality is an issue every student should support because it keeps big businesses from taking over the speed of the Internet.

Private companies wish to restrict Internet speed for financial gain and make customers pay a fee to use certain sites. Net neutrality is the basic rule that Internet use should be free and fair for everyone. These companies intend to create faster Internet lanes, but they will charge their customers extra fees to use them.

“Ever since the Internet was created it’s been organized around the basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom,” said President Barack Obama in a Monday ABCNews video. “There are no gate keepers deciding which sites you get to access. There are toll roads on the information super highway.”

So long as there is net neutrality, students won’t be restricted to slower lanes. Another positive is entertainment services students use, like Netflix, won’t have to pay a fee to ensure their customers have fast access to their product.

Fail: Bottled water not poor choice

Students shouldn’t feel bad for drinking bottled water, especially when sanitation is a health concern.

H2O 2Go, a hydration campaign, encourages people to buy reusable bottles instead of using plastic ones.

“People don’t realize … how much oil and work and water and energy go into actually making these bottles. People say, ‘Oh, I’m just going to recycle this,’” said H2O 2Go promoter Joshua Nixon, according to a Monday Northern Star article. “It takes energy to break down that bottle, and it’s just really an environmental burden for something that you can just get out of the tap.”

H2O 2Go’s reasons for using reusable bottles are excellent, but people shouldn’t have to worry about coming into contact with germs by touching the refilling station’s button. If people want to stay healthy, public water fountains aren’t always the cleanest drinking sources because they’re in public places and free for anyone to use and spread germs.

E-coli and legionella, which can cause illness, live on water fountains, said water expert Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech, according to a Aug. 28, 2010, The Star article.

College students have the right to limit their exposure to germs, and that’s something a public drinking fountain can’t always guarantee.