In an effort to continue improving campus dining, Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) has collaborated with Pepsi to open Shop24, a 24-hour vending machine, in October.
“There are certain items that folks will have access to 24/7,” Executive Director of CAS Steve Deutsch said. “It’s nice to know that folks who live on campus don’t need to go all the way into town to get the items they need.”
Deutsch said CAS has been working with Pepsi to decide what items will go into the machine. He said the machine will include items ranging from laundry detergent to socks and soda.
Controller for CAS Don Diamond said the goal of Shop24 is not to duplicate items that are already sold in other vending machines on campus, but to offer a variety of foods, beverages and home goods.
“Nothing that you see in the vending machines will be in the Shop24 because there is no point in that, obviously,” Diamond said. “There may be 20oz beverages in Shop24 but they should not be the same beverages offered in traditional vending machines on campus.”
While Shop24 will offer students a small store in a central location, Deutsch said currently the machine will not be accepting dining dollars although he can see why some students may not be happy with that.
Josh Simpson, Student Association (SA) president, said the Shop24 vending machine has the potential to be great due to the numerous amounts of items that will be offered. However, he said he is concerned about the students having to spend “real money” as opposed to the money which is included in their
“Hopefully with working with CAS and Steve Deutsch we can have it so that you can use dining dollars on food items,” Simpson said. “I understand not being able to buy laundry detergent with dining dollars but chips or a loaf of bread you should be able to use dining dollars.”
Simpson said last year the student CAS board members and the SA senate were supportive of the Shop24, however, they didn’t forsee some of the difficulties that may come out of it. He said now that they see issues they have the opportunity to change them.
Deutsch said while he understands student frustrations, the purpose of the meal plan is to provide on-campus students with a tax-free plan for prepared food on campus and the plan does not allow that money to be used in vending machines. He said people are confusing what a vending machine is with what meal plan money is.
“I don’t think the machine will affect the students negatively because nothing is being taken away from them,” Deutsch said. “It’s already here.”
Although the vending machine was initially supposed to replace the convenience store in Hasbrouck, Deutsch said, the store will remain open due to strong opposition to this plan.
He said students want a place where they can spend their dining dollars and if sales continue to be strong the store may stay open permanently.
Although dining dollars are not accepted by the machine, Deutsch said it is conceivable that one day they will be.
“It’s hard to say yet whether this is a good investment, we have to open it up and see if folks like it,” Deutsch said. “We plan to change and adapt as need arises.”