We don’t need bottled water, as there's drinking water on campus. This week’s Science Podcast discussed a study to estimate the energy cost of bottle water compared to drinking tap water, and bottled water doesn’t come out well:
(I)t turns out that for every bottle of water you drink it might as well be a quarter full of oil, for the amount of oil that’s being consumed in order to produce all of this bottled water. ...
(W)e’re talking about 50 million barrels of oil a year. And, just for point of comparison, that’s the same amount of oil used in the entire U.S. over two days – all the cars we drive, all the factories, all the lights we turn on – everything – so it’s a really big chunk of the oil that’s consumed. ...
Just from bottled water.
As for soft drinks, they ain’t the best of stuff for ya:
Cutting the consumption of sugary drinks by half is a key recommendation of the World Cancer Research Fund report.
And I’ll point out the additional perverseness of selling soft drinks for a university located in an area with rampant Type II diabetes.
Then, there’s the sheer amount of plastic generated by bottled drinks, described in this TED talk.
I don’t know how much money our university makes from vending machines. But I’ll bet it’s enough for the university wouldn’t get rid of them.