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Three Alternative Beverages to Help You Survive the Next Broad Street Burst

If you’re a Colgate student or local resident, I’m sure you’ve heard all about the water main that burst just off of Broad Street on Sunday, February 6. The burst caused all kinds of problems, including a lower-campus drought and a campus-wide “boil water” notice in effect until Wednesday, February 9. The burst was sudden, with effects so wide-ranging that many students were left confused and thirsting for answers to uncertain questions. What does one do when sweet Chobani, dependable Donny’s, and even late-night Frank are forced to shut down? When campus-sanctioned, rationed Dasani water bottles are the only options in sight; where can one turn for flavor and variety?

While I can’t fix the water pressure and I certainly can’t purify whatever is dripping out of our faucets, I can offer a few alternatives to stay hydrated. And no, you don’t need to siphon water out of Lake Taylor, microwave snow, or clean out Price Chopper (again!). Rather, simply supplement your Dasani stash with the alternatives listed below and you’ll be a local resident of hydration nation again in no time!


As the days without drinkable water march on, Frank’s infinite supply of milk seems to be the only constant. Frank prides itself on having every milk possible: almond, soy, coconut, cashew, and of course, your classic cow milk. If anything can produce milk, it’s the mini milk fridge at Frank dining hall. That said, if you don’t like milk, are lactose intolerant, or have galaphobia (aka a fear of milk—who can blame you), I’m afraid you’re out of luck for à la carte beverages at Frank. Enjoy your University-rationed Dasani and triple-boiled tank water, but don’t lose hope! Option #2 may be the solution you’ve been thirsting for. 


You know those bright red, refrigerator-sized machines in Frank and Coop? The ones that look like a Sodastream and iPad had a baby? That, my friends, is the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, and it is the key to a near endless stream (pun intended) of possibilities. Using the machine’s astounding 127 flavors, you can create more than 723 duovigintillion different beverage combinations. That’s 723 followed by 67 zeros! Granted, I doubt anyone would want to drink some of those combinations (for instance, the one that combines just a drop of all 127 flavors into one), but the fact that the Freestyle is capable of it is impressive nonetheless. 

For the time being, the Freestyle machines are open for business, so drink up! Duovigintillions and duovigintillions of new and refreshing beverage options are waiting for you just inside. Personally, I recommend starting with what I like to call Dr. Cola Dew (equal parts Dr. Pepper and Cherry Cola with just a splash of Mtn Dew). It’s my current go-to, and if there are water main toxins in it, I certainly can’t taste them over the overpowering bubbles and flavored syrup in my cup. Ignorance is bliss, my friends, and right now ignorance tastes like a Cherry Cola. 


Honestly, if you’re not reading this on your phone with one hand and cradling a smoothie with the other, you’re doing something wrong. It could be ‑13 °F outside (as it has been), and you would still find me bustling around upper campus with a blueberry, strawberry, and kale smoothie in hand. As a university student, this concoction of fruits and veggies may very well be the only whole foods I get all day (sorry mom and dad), so I never miss an opportunity to swipe one. Unfortunately, not everyone on campus has access to unlimited swipes, so I have devised a plan to ensure that everyone can receive the blended goodness they deserve!

Dearest first-years and sophomores, you wield the full, unbridled power of the Boost app in the palm of your hand, so what are you waiting for? Whip that phone out and get sipping! Dearest juniors and seniors with limited or no swipes, never fear, for I have a solution for you too! Go forth and adopt an underclassman ASAP. This shouldn’t be too difficult seeing as we literally make up half the population and, through our inexperienced eyes, many of you appear as wisened, twenty-something-year-old Gods. The symbiotic relationship between first-years and sophomores blessed with the premium meal plan and juniors and seniors who have opted out is a truly beautiful one. While upperclassmen possess social prestige and years of Colgate expertise, underclassmen possess the power of Boost, and these resources should be exchanged freely. So what are you waiting for? Go forth, Colgate students, and forge new upper and lower classmen friendships born of and nurtured by smoothies! 

It is often said that variety is the spice of life, and I couldn’t agree more. Whether it’s in the beverages you drink, or the new friendships you make, having variety in your life can help to make even the most difficult of situations feel manageable. With a smoothie or Dr. Cola Dew in hand, the world seems a little brighter, the flooding streets outside my window a little less frightening, and the growing pile of empty water bottles in my room a little less concerning. So please, friends, the next time the Price Chopper shelves sit empty, when Dasani’s got you down, and when triple-boiled tap water just isn’t cutting it, I hope you’ll remember these tips and use them to add a little spice back into your life. 

Bri Liddell

Colgate '25

Hi! My name is Bri, and I'm a decidedly undecided first-year student at Colgate University. I'm a New England native with a passion for hiking, journalism, and fresh notebooks (:
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