Suphitha Phawapoothanon

Towson University

Suphitha Phawapoothanon, a first year student at Towson University, is a student leader who is active in addressing the issues of water resources. She believes that sale of plastic bottled water not only results in harming the environment but also an economic injustice that divides the have and have-nots. At Towson University, she and her fellow students established Take Back the Tap chapter campaign, a national movement of Food and Water Watch that promotes tap water over bottled water on college campuses. She has been advocating for an awareness of environmental impacts of bottled water, the culture of reusable bottles, and to push for a complete ban on sale of bottled water on Towson campus. She is currently working closely with SGA Senator and other partner organizations to decrease use and distribution of plastic bottles and encourage Towson administration to increase tap water quality.

Kim Schatzel Ph.D.
Towson University

Personal Statement

My strong interest in addressing and potentially solving environmental issues started when I watched the movie called 2012 that depicted the most catastrophic natural disasters that led to the end of our world. In the movie, the whole planet was flooded and our generations are wiped out by water. I eventually came to understand why water was so angry that it had to wipe out the humankind; it simply because some individuals like private companies are taking water resources for granted. These companies are not only abusing water resources but also human rights: they bottle up our water resources, sell it back to us at ridiculous cost, and contribute to climate change. At Towson campus, I partner with Student Government Association and several organizations to put a stop on contribution of plastic bottled water on campus. My colleagues and I are also involved in pushing for full ban in which bottled water sales are completely banned on Towson campus. Take Back the Tap is only one of the initiatives I take to address water issues. I am also active in community efforts to push for legislation that would allow public places like national parks to go bottled-water-free and increase access to tap water.

Suphitha Phawapoothanon
International Studies and Politial Science: Class of May, 2020
written 2017

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