Students Petition to Bring Hydro Flasks Back to HDH Markets

A UC San Diego student-made petition on change.org has garnered attention to bring back Hydro Flasks to the Housing Dining Hospitality on-campus markets. The petition entitled “Bring back Hydroflasks at UCSD markets” was created on Sept. 26 and had reached 134 signatures in 7 days. Hydro Flasks were discontinued in the markets by the start of Fall Quarter 2019. 

The petition was created by EarlWarren College sophomore Dominick Lee, who feels the Hydro Flasks served as a symbol of UCSD.

“These HydroFlasks became a staple for all UCSD students and reflected pride and school spirit with each and every fill,” Lee wrote on the petition’s description. “Our mission it to unite our campus to bring back the symbol of UCSD that has become so iconic.”

Lee posted the petition to a UCSD page on Reddit, with his roommate, Earl Warren College sophomore Garrett Luu, posting the petition onto the Facebook Page for UCSD Class of 2022. 

Students in the petition’s comment section discussed how the Hydro Flasks were a way to use extra Dining Dollars before they became lost after the deadline created by HDH last spring. Casey Chang, one of the signers of the petitions, wrote, “I have extra dining dollars and I was counting on hydros being there fall quarter when I came back.” 

Another signer of the petition named Alexis Tomita commented on the accessibility of the Hydro Flask brand.

“WE LOVE HYDROFLASKS! Made a great gifts, and allowed those who couldn’t afford one have the opportunity to have one,” Tomita commented. “Ucsd helped those in need, since we invested so much in their university, we should be able to purchase better quality items.” 

Lee also mentioned the popular practice of using extra dining dollars to buy and resell Hydro Flasks.

“[Fifty/Fifty] is a drop in quality so it makes it significantly harder to resell because it’s not a Hydro Flask brand … and it’s cheaper so you have to buy more of them to make up for your dining dollars,” Lee stated.

While Hydro Flasks are no longer sold at the markets, there is the option to purchase a similar product, the Fifty/Fifty bottle, which is also designed to keep beverages hot or cold for a long period of time. 

One review listed on the Fifty/Fifty website under the name Dethean F. states, “Fifty/Fifty Bottles are amazing! If you’re looking for a hot/cold thermos bottle, this is the real deal … best bottle on the market. Stainless steel, durable construction and a variety of colors, sizes, and cap styles … Kept my ice more than 24hrs later.”

UCSD HDH Communications Officer Kat Marin states that the bottles are cheaper than Hydro Flasks. “HDH shifted to a comparable reusable beverage container that would provide a lower-cost option for the campus community,” Marin told the UCSD Guardian. “We now offer a variety of Fifty/Fifty bottles at all of our markets, and student response has been positive.”

A wide-mouthed 40 oz. Fifty/Fifty bottle is listed as $34.99 on their website, and a similar Hydro Flask is listed as $42.99 on the Hydro Flask website.  Like the Hydro Flask brand, Fifty/Fifty is sold in various sizes and colors. 

While the Hydro Flask brand is more expensive, Lee mentions how it was one of the only items that did not have elevated prices in the markets. 

“The entire idea of Dining Dollars expiring — you pay in 1 to 1 and to have [Hydro Flasks] just go away as a donation to the school is kinda hurtful,” Lee told the Guardian. “The Hydro Flask became so iconic because it was the only thing that wasn’t marked up in the markets … it was a good way to exchange your dining dollars and get your money back from UCSD without it just disappearing.”

The petition to bring Hydro Flasks back to the markets brought more attention than Lee and Luu had expected, and they never intended to take it to HDH.

“[Taking the petition to HDH was] in the back of our minds,” Luu said. “We didn’t have any concrete plan.”

Luu also noted the tone used in both the petition and post was meant to be humorous.

“We would all benefit from Hydro Flasks being back in the markets,” Luu said. “The biggest way to create motion about a movement is to use humor … you’re more likely to share something that you find humorous in some way.” 

While Luu and Lee did not plan on talking to HDH about bringing Hydro Flasks back to the markets, in a statement to the Guardian, Marin noted that HDH would consider bringing it back if the petition garnered enough attention. 

“HDH welcomes and values student feedback,” Marin said. “We will present the topic for discussion to the Undergraduate Housing Advisory Committee, which has student representation from all colleges, if there is significant student interest.” 

As of date of publication, Lee’s petition has 154 signatures. HDH has neither confirmed nor denied whether or not Hydro Flasks will be reinstated in any of the on-campus markets.

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