Automatic convenience store Shop24 was installed on campus last Wednesday, Nov. 28, on the Student Union (SU) concourse after a several week delay, Executive Director of Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) Steve Deutsch said.
“The installation process was challenging, primarily due to communication issues between Shop24, Pepsi and CAS,” Deutsch said.
Shop24, LLC, the European company that manufactures the vending machine, Pepsi Cola of the Hudson Valley and CAS had to overcome the mutual communication issues as well as labor and scheduling difficulties before the machine could be installed last week, Deutsch said.
The bus-stop-sized machine is encased in a brick-lined unit that mirrors the look of the residence halls located around it. Students can purchase a range of convenience store items from the machine including soda, chips, candy, TV dinners, tampons and laundry detergent.
Deutsch, who oversaw much of the installation, said he is happy with how the project turned out.
“In particular, I think the design fits our campus,” Deutsch said. “We worked to make sure the design reflected that of our residence halls… I think our [Shop24] machine looks better than ones I’ve seen on other campuses.”
As of now, Deutsch said he has heard of students addressing campus administration about getting more healthy and local food alternatives in the machines and said that options will explored in the future.
“But, the truth is students who eat those [healthy foods] aren’t getting their food from a vending machine,” Deutsch said.
Students can purchase items from the machine using cash and, once the system is set up in the next week, Hawk Dollars, Deutsch said.
Currently, the machine is not set to accept dining dollars as payment, but Deutsch has said that it is not out of the question for future years.
Third-year theater major Julia Fell said she has found the items in the machine to be relatively overpriced and dislikes the inconvenience of the machine not accepting dining dollars as a form of payment.
“We can actually use dining dollars [at other food locations] as well, whereas with this behemoth, you have to use actual cash, which college students are not famous for having a ton of,” Fell said.