The plastic cup controversy: Aston, why don’t you care about our hydration?

We can’t exactly put our mouths on the cooler

So, it emerged this week that Aston bosses are raking it in, but if the uni has enough money for them to make it rain, why can’t they make it rain in our mouths?

Dear Aston,

It has recently come to light that 35 of Aston’s higher ranked staff are paid over £100,000, with nine being paid more than the £142,000 Big Davy C. at No. 10 earns. Now, that’s quite a lot, right? I mean, I’d be happy with a wage of 100 Gs. At least then I wouldn’t have to survive off a steady diet of noodles, biscuits and anything in the Tesco reduced section that’s actually a bargain (knocking 10p off a Three Bean Salad is NOT going to entice anyone, Tesco, come on).

I'll always cherish the good times, MB268

I’ll always cherish the good times, MB268

Luckily (I think), I’m an engineering student, so I can perform at least some basic mathematical calculations. If we just say that the nine lucky duckies at the very top are earning 142 big ones, with the other 26 on 100 grand, the uni is paying just over £1.3 million for them all. That’s quite a pretty penny, I’d say.

Now, obviously this is fine if they’re doing a good job and everything, but it’s not Aston’s only big expenditure. I don’t have time to reel off everything they’ve splashed out on of late, but there’s all those flashy new computers in the EAS suites on the second floor that we now can’t enter without a lecturer (wtf Aston, where am I meant to revise now? The library?), or that Trainline ticket collection machine at reception that only the staff can use (insert every negative emoji here).

I see you sitting there, taunting us all.

I see you sitting there, taunting us all

But there’s one thing the you seem incapable of supply us with: plastic cups.


So, there’s a water cooler on the ground floor, just next to the vending machines and the swanky new Costa machine that plays coffee shop sounds. Great, water coolers are fine, saves you forking out a quid for something you can get for free, right?

The only problem is the short supply of vessels in which to hold this life-giving fluid. There’s one of those tube things on the wall next to it for dispensing cups, but they’re rarely there.



No cups. Not one.

I think in all my time at Aston (I’m a final year now – I have seen hell), I’ve only seen cups in that dispenser a handful of times. Like, maybe three. Do I just miss the once-in-a-blue-moon occasion when it actually has its stock replenished?

Is there a horde of thirsty students gathering around it when someone comes to stock it up, who instantly set upon it, ravenously tearing the cups out like a scene from The Walking Dead?

The top's even dusty. No one's touched that in a while.

The top’s even dusty. No one’s touched that in a while.

With all this money, surely we’re not asking too much by expecting some cups to drink the water out of? The signs you keep putting up asking us “PLEASE DO NOT USE COSTA CUPS FOR THE WATER MACHINE” go unheeded.

Can you blame anyone? Are we meant to cup our hands under the tap and drink out of those, or lap at the stream as it comes out, like animals? I understand that Aston wants to be green and that plastic isn’t exactly the preferred material of the Eco Warrior, but even paper would do. I think we’d be happier with those little cones the library has (sometimes) than with nothing.

Mate, no one's listening.

Mate, no one’s listening

If the problem stems from a struggle for funding (it shouldn’t, loads of us are giving you £9’000+ a year to be here), can’t the aforementioned ballers take one for the team? Just £100 each from their yearly wage will provide £3500 to buy cups for your poor, thirsty students. Thank you.


Damn it feels good to be a gangster

Anyway, just a thought,

Regards, (definitely no kindness about it)

Every Aston Student.

DISCLAIMER: The Costa cup full of water was already there. I promise. Please don’t throw me out.

Aston University