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Every fall college students arrive on campus with preconceptions about tap water, bringing cases of bottled water onto our campus. Bottled water has been found to be unsustainable as well as harmful to the environment, communities, and human health. The City of Dayton has very high quality drinking water in abundance, a fact which makes bottled water on our campus an unnecessary luxury. Each year the River Stewards, a co-curricular program which is housed in the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, participate in a senior project that benefits the community in some way. This year, the 2013 River Stewards Cohort worked with the City of Dayton and NSO to help tackle the issue of bottled water on campus. The Stewards helped coordinate a water bottle free Fall 2012 orientation and educate incoming students about the quality of Dayton's tap water. This included collaborating with the City of Dayton to design, purchase, and give away special "Take Back the Tap" reusable water bottles to the incoming freshmen, as well as providing a water truck for students on campus to fill up their new water bottles. In addition, the senior cohort is currently partnering with Art Street in order to add a filling station on campus that will simultaneously educate about and provide access to tap water. The 2013 Cohort's Senior Project gave the Stewards the opportunity to apply the knowledge and leadership skills that they have acquired from three years in the River Steward Program.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Richard T. Ferguson

Primary Advisor's Department

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community


Stander Symposium poster

Take Back the Tap: UD River Steward  Cohort Senior Project