Oct

14

Fireside Chat: DSpar Sacrifices Bathing for the Greater Good

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Bwog’s Katheryn Thayer stopped by Sulzberger Parlor on Tuesday night to chat with DSpar about the world’s water problems.

DSpar, perhaps realizing that “water” is a broad topic of discussion for her first Fireside Chat of the year, passed around pictures of the overused, depleted Aral Sea and the arsenic-laced pumps in Bangladesh. She explained that these were some of the most extreme water-use case studies she encountered when she was doing research for a book about water use and management. The fact that she was doing this research while in business school was reflected by her opening question: How do we efficiently use something people have rarely been forced to associate with cost?

Though SGA representatives set up more than twice as many chairs as were used and complained that eight people reneged on their RSVPs the day of the event, the small talk gave the dozen or so girls who did come a special chance to have a real conversation with the president and with each other. California students compared the huge water use in agriculture to strict laws on watering lawns; a representative of Oregon shared that an abundance of water makes her community more concerned with purity standards; and a participant with family in Eastern Europe described the differences between water use there and in America. The conversation quickly turned towards individual water use (which DSpar tried to steer away from) as well as the struggles of third world countries to secure reliable sources of potable water.

A handful of interlocutors lived on the ecofloor, many expressed activist-inclinations, and some just showed up to hear the chat. Though Spar commented and sometimes directed the conversation, it felt student-driven, and attendees continued talking well after the president made her exit.

A little after 7:00, DSpar announced she was already late to a black tie party, and, referring on her casual-chic turtleneck and A-line skirt outfit, said: “This won’t quite cut it for black tie! I need to go home and change, but I won’t shower—I promise!”

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5 Comments

  1. i love  

    dspar. fabulous bitch.

  2. Anonymous  

    as someone who "reneged": maybe SGA should send out the emails notifying students more than a day in advance?

  3. silly

    water is a mindless topic to be comparing perspectives from different sides of the world, because water conditions are inherently regional. Where there is an over-abundance of water, it doesn't hurt much to be wasteful, and where there is a shortage it's criminal. This is untrue to oil or electricity, because crude and natural gas are transferable and globally traded resources. Water is non-transferable, and thus each region needs to adapt to its specific circumstances. It costs less to desalinate sea water to drink it than than it does to transport clean water in pipes over 1000s of miles. So neighboring countries (like India and Pakistan) might fight over water, but here in new york we can consume generous portions and not feel too bad about it.

  4. interesting

    I find it interesting to see so many progressive habits of thought in simultaneous display: the impulse to control the lives of others, the search for a cause to confront, the belief that moral legitimacy is conferred by a display of concern for the "third world," the amusing eagerness to reject any normative practice... It's funny.

  5. ...  

    it bothers me that plan a is rationing and conservation, while a real solution (development of cheap and clean energy) is not even discussed.

    if we don't take significant steps towards cheap/clean energy, arguing over rationing strategies will be irrelevant because 21st century world resource war == armageddon.

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