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UCLan cites ‘Covid-19 health and safety restrictions’ after switching off all water fountains

Posted on - 20th October, 2021 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Education, Health, Preston City Centre, Preston News, UCLan, University campus
The Media Factory at the University of Central Lancashire campus Pic: Tony Worrall
The Media Factory at the University of Central Lancashire campus Pic: Tony Worrall

UCLan has switched off all on-site water fountains to follow Covid-19 health and safety restrictions.

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A member of the public contacted Blog Preston this week to report that the University of Central Lancashire had turned off its water fountains and had declined to turn them back on despite protests from students.

A university spokesperson said the fountains were turned off due to Covid-19 health and safety restrictions.

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But in a post to the UCLan SU Online Community Facebook group, a student said the university required a student poll to prove there was a demand for the fountains to be switched back on.

The post said: “I know many of you have been asking about the water fountains, as currently they are all turned off.

“I sent it to the higher up, and they told me that I need to host a poll to show that students want the water turned back on.

“I have since said that’s unfortunate, but I will do it, and that water is a basic human right, which we should be given constant access to.”

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In the comment section, students chimed in with their concerns.

One said: “This is a joke, right? Having to poll students for them to turn back on water fountains? People need water for medical reasons too. Is it something VP Welfare can do?”

The original poster replied: “Apparently, they need proof that this is what students want.

“That is why I have posted it to this group to get it sorted ASAP. I am also going to address many other issues over the course of the year.”

They replied: “I’m shocked, really. Contact the VP Welfare to push for change – paying 9k is not only for education – it’s the whole university experience.”

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One student said they raised the issue at a recent meeting and was told that the bottle filler fountains were in the process of being chlorinated to be used again after being off for so long.

They also said they were told that the mouth to tap fountains were being left off for obvious reasons, but there was a hope that these could be converted to the bottle filler types.

Another student said the water fountains are currently on at the Burnley campus. 

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The university spokesperson said: “As more people are now back on campus, we are currently reviewing all of the water fountains to ensure that they meet the standard of safety we expect for our staff and students.

“Fountains that allow an individual to drink directly from them are, for obvious reasons, not in line with Covid safety measures and will not be switched back on.

“However, fountains that allow people to fill water bottles will now be turned back on.”

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