WESTWOOD, CA – On Monday, USAC members voted to pledge to address the ongoing statewide drought, announcing a new “Pavement Watering Efficiency Plan” as part of the recently renewed Green Initiative on the UCLA campus. This plan is designed to help “reduce water usage by nearly 20%” while maintaining the UCLA tradition of keeping the sidewalks damp. Danny Seigel, who defeated Denea Joseph in a disappointingly unsurprising turn of events this past week, said that USAC “recognises and values the importance of sprinkled sidewalks to the UCLA community” and wants to assure everyone that “maintaining moist concrete is our top priority.”
The new plan attempts to address the problem of campus water waste by coming up with innovative and sustainable ways to efficiently water the sidewalks. Specific examples of proposed features include “strategically located sprinkler systems” for maximum coverage, “high pressure sprinkler heads” to maximize distance, “even lower water pressure in residence hall showers” to increase water supply, “mist machines” to be hung over Bruin Walk, and confusingly, “more ramps.”
UCLA has a long history with wet pavement, going back to the construction of the school’s current campus in 1929, and most recently with the flooding of Pauley Pavilion in 2014. For most of its history, it has been a student tradition, with the Student Government only canonizing it in the late 80’s, as a spiritual twin to Reagan’s “Trickle Down Economics”. But with the recent drought that has hit California, USAC and the Administration are in hot water–or a lack thereof.
“We have a lot of alumni that expect to see wet pavement when they visit, a lot of new students too” laments Charlize Redman, a member of the UCLA development committee. “We’re under a lot of pressure here” she continued. According to Redman, many students have reached out to her office about the lowered frequency of sidewalk watering, showing the high demand for slippery surfaces all over campus. A Daily Ruin investigation exposed the fact that many of these same students approached the administration to voice their support for the tuition hikes proposed last year.
As it turns out, many students are actually sympathetic to the administration’s position. “Sure, California’s running out of water, but I like pretending I’m in a romantic comedy where it just rained,” said Kimberlee Miller, third-year political science major. “I think we really take it for granted that the pavement will stay wet all the time” said Brijesh Satish, a second-year engineering student. “It’s great they’re finally putting some real thought into sidewalk irrigation.”
The plan is set to take effect in the Fall of 2016 and will be left running until next year, when many believe it won’t matter anymore because California will have become a barren, raisin-like wasteland, inhabitable only to scorpions and people on the same diet as Gwyneth Paltrow. ♦