The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

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AHS’ fountains from the depths

With water being a necessity, why do our fountains suck so much?
Anthony Vasek
AHS water fountain.
An ant infestation on the fountain outside 107.

Arcata High sits on the more well-funded side of things when it comes to public schools, especially in Humboldt County. We have a vast array of electives offered by passionate staff, a solid student to teacher ratio, our own separate building for performing arts, and a generally clean and respectable campus.

So, with water being a basic necessity, why do our fountains suck so much?

There’s numerous accounts: they’re often covered in spit, the one next to 106 tastes like bloody rust, most of the external ones are sprouting algae, many have broken buttons, ant infestations are frequent, some in the 300 hallway look like they were installed in the 1920s, half have such low pressure that you practically need to suck out of them like a straw, and so, so much more.

“If you need a drink, you have to walk all the way to those fountains near the office,” Junior Zeke Springer explained. The water fountain outside of the attendance office and the other near the 500 hallway are generally considered the most sanitary ones.

Junior Mikenzie Sousa brought up the effects on academic performance. “I’m missing class time just ’cause I’m thirsty and don’t wanna drink from the ones covered in green stuff,” she said. 

Having to move all the way across campus for water can often result in a teacher giving a cut despite how essential it is.

Luckily, there are a few vending machines placed around campus that offer water, Bubly, and sugar-free Gatorade. However, it isn’t an ideal solution.

Besides the fact that many lower-income students cannot afford to bring two dollars everyday, water bottles are known to be detrimental to the environment. According to Green America, just one plastic water bottle releases 82.8g of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Having clean, accessible, fully-functioning water fountains around campus is essential.

However, I don’t believe the fault is in the hands of our custodians. They are already underpaid, understaffed, and overworked with the growing trend of graffiti and defacement in addition to their bare-minimum daily duties to keep our school looking presentable.

Hopefully the admin will soon become more aware of this issue and put more resources into maintaining our water fountains.

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About the Contributor
Anthony Vasek, Managing Editor
Anthony Vasek has been a reporter for the Pepperbox, a student-run publication with nearly a century of history, since 2022. This year he is excited to use his knowledge to take on an editorial role. His coverage revolves mostly around sensitive topics, such as mental health and drug use. He also does a great deal of graphic design, leading the class in InDesign during each layout session. Two articles of his have won both first and second place, respectively, in the Feature category of the Jackie Awards. Personally, he has a strong belief towards the supremacy of felines and fish.
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