WESTWOOD— Graduation season is nearly upon us, which means the coming of one of UCLA’s most time-honored traditions: touching the water in the inverted fountain. But unlike previous years, graduates will now have to pay an extra price to participate.
“Due to California’s drought, we cannot afford to waste any of our precious resources,” environmental science professor Howard Brightman said. “We know students will be more than willing to shoulder this extra cost–they do it all the time.”
Pricing will be determined by body part and whether or not the student would like to take a photo. Dipping hands and feet in the water will start at $5 and work up to $50 for full-body immersion. Photos are expected to be an extra $10.
“I’ve waited four years since my Bruin Baptism and have paid about $50,000 for my degree,” graduating senior Andrea Mott said. “What’s another $60, I guess.”
School officials insist that these new fees are essential to manage the cost of running excess water on campus. They also argue that this will bring awareness to water consumption and illustrate the real price of California’s water usage.
“We can’t simply shut off any of our other fountains like in the Sculpture Garden or near Royce or by the Alumni Center, or reduce how often we use our sprinkler systems,” said senior gardener Ralph Travers. “But we know our students will show their Bruin Pride and help keep this tradition alive.
“I think I might bring my own water to pour on myself in the fountain next year,” said current junior Michael Brownstone. “I’ll save some money and some water by pouring a gallon directly in the ground.”
Those not willing to pay the price are still encouraged to come and cheer on their fellow graduates. Beverages will be available to help combat the June heat with water bottles starting at $8.♦