I trekked across campus in search of a free cup of hot water

One man’s journey

It’s a puzzle that has been upsetting thousands of students on campus each day: a cup of water is free of charge, but when you put the word hot in front it costs.

Some have suggested it was an initiative to promote ice tea and coffee, but who knows really? Only one thing was sure: it was time to see if anywhere gave it for free.

The journey begins

The expedition began at the Students’ Union’s Biko’s Café, famous for its long standing anti-corporate agenda and proud vendor of Starbucks coffee.

With such honourable principles, there were high hopes. Yet these were soon crippled. Expect to be left awkwardly thrusting your hands into the depths of your pockets to retrieve twenty pence.

At least the cup makes it look like you can afford a Caramel Macchiato.

JRUL is cruel

Next stop was the library café. Here the hot water is served in a trendy orange cup, which means it costs 30p more. No one is sure whether this is because of the cup.

Why am I drinking so much hot water?

At the Learning Commons it was also 50p. Except there was a problem – the plastic teaspoons seemed to be hidden. When the café lady was asked to show us their location, she pointed to some stirrers instead. Using the stirrers as teaspoons proved to be challenging.

Costa: our very own patron

By now, we were exhausted, defeated and humiliated. It was decided that the coffee shop across the road might redeem our faith in access to clean water for all.

At last, it was a success: a free cup of hot water in Costa. There was even the possibility of having it served in a teacup.

So it seems the only way to get free access to a human right is to leave campus.