Fountain Location: First floor Taper Hall, front lobby
This is it; the first drinking fountain on campus. For many wet-eyed freshman, Taper is the first building to find. The first classroom to practice walking to so one can arrive at one’s 100-level GE in a timely manner. The building on campus that most resembles a John Hughes-esque high school. This fountain never rises above this mantra, but to be fair, it’s never asked to. Sitting safely and inconspicuously within its enclave next to the Men’s Restroom – which is a terrible location choice; at least put the bathroom after the fountain so one isn’t forced to think about restroom plumbing and drinking water piping as a singular item – this fountain offers the absolute bare minimum in school drinking. 
Aesthetics and Presentation – 6. Would have been 5 for absolute mediocrity, but what are those two light switches next to the fountain for? +1 for mystery.
Water quality – 7. Almost-perfect temperature – could have been a few degrees colder doesn’t quite make up for the fact that you’re staring at the side of the Men’s Restroom as you drink. Doesn’t taste particularly filtered or dirty. Better-than-average water pressure, but a little low in the arch.
Functionality – 9. Again, a little low, and weirdly back in that enclave, but otherwise, flawless execution.
Fountain run potential – 4. Stop in for a little hydration on your way past the finger fountain and the top of Trousdale fountain.
Purpose – 8. Both quenching the thirst of intimidated freshman and nostalgic “victory lap” seniors alike; the standard-issue water fountain for your standard-issue classroom experience. 
Final verdict – 7. I would never go out of my way for this fountain. But when you’re stuck in a GE or TO class in Taper and are up for a little cold water with a lot of high-school nostalgia, stop for a quick sip. 
Check back next wednesday for another edition of The Drink, USC’s premier fountain review.