New Machine To Allow Students To ‘Shop 24’

Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) and Pepsi, who provides SUNY New Paltz’s vending, will soon be working with a European company which manufactures automated convenience stores called Shop 24.

“Shop 24 is a very large vending machine, it’s about the size of a bus stop,” said CAS Director Steve Deutsch. “It can carry something in the neighborhood of 200 items, the largest item would be like the size of a large box of laundry detergent.”

These 24-hour machines, which are on both the SUNY Cortland and SUNY Morrisville campuses, carry a variety of items such as chips, beverages, candy, tampons, condoms and paper towels. Detergent and over the counter medications will also be sold.

The overarching reason for using Shop 24 at New Paltz was to increase and improve student convenience.

“The program is being introduced to the campus because it has been done at other SUNY schools and would fulfill the student need and want of having easily accessible convenient store items at any time of the day,” said CAS Board Student Representative Jonathan Freifeld.

While this is the primary purpose, another extremely important motivation stems off it, that being the concern for student safety. According to Deutsch, having a Shop 24 machine would keep students who live on campus “from having to walk into town or to Convenient Deli at late hours because they need something.” Another less pressing reason is to provide students with another food option when dining services are closed, as the unit is refrigerated.

The idea has been presented to the CAS Board and the Cabinet and the Resident Hall Student Association (RHSA) and Student Association (SA) have pitched the idea to their constituencies as well. Students and administrators both feel it will be “a great thing to have,” but their one worry is the appearance of the machine. However, Deutsch does not feel this will be an issue.

“If you take a look at the ones that were built for those other campuses, they really do a good job to really match the flavor of the campus,” Deutsch said.

CAS will start off with one machine to hopefully be placed next to Parker Theater by fall 2011. The cost of this sole unit is still being discussed as there are many different ways to go about financing the machine. CAS can buy it, staff it and keep all the profits, Pepsi can buy it, staff it and split the profits with CAS or Shop 24 can buy it. Other choices arise as well, such as whether the machine should be leased, rented or purchased and whether CAS or Pepsi should stock it.

So far the idea of the device has been met with a positive student response.

“There are a lot of times when there are no places open to eat, “ said second-year psychology major Kathryn Janicke. “This sounds so handy.”

Deutsch is confident that the success Shop 24 has had on other campuses will carry over to New Paltz.

“Feedback has been really positive. At Morrisville they sell out every weekend, the thing is absolutely empty,” Deutsch said. “My colleagues, my peers at other SUNY campuses have all been very happy with them.”