The W is replacing soda and snack machines across campus, but the process has been going slower than planned.
The school is changing vending companies. Officials planned to have them replaced before the students returned on Feb. 8, but not all of them were in place by that deadline.
Dave Haffly, director of outsourced enterprises at The W, sent an email to students and staff members informing them of the changes being made. He said a committee of faculty and students was formed last semester. After looking over all the figures, the committee decided to go with the vending contractor Sodexo.
“The contract the W had with Corporate Dining was for five years, which expired in 2015,” said Haffly. “We did a request for proposals and appointed a committee to review them. We received two proposals. The winning bidder, Sodexo, proposed a larger commission for the W and machines with credit card readers.”
Students, faculty, staff and visitors can now get a refreshing drink and snack without having to dig for change or worry about carrying cash. Although not all locations are getting back both snack and soda machines, Haffly said he is sure that if the sales on campus increase, then it shouldn’t be long before snack machines will be placed back where they were before.
“If the total sales merit, then we will want more machines. We are supposed to be receiving monthly sales reports, so if a trend starts, then we should get more machines before the end of the semester,” said Haffly. “The resident halls are the first place I’d like to see them go.”
Chris Richardson, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at the Recreation Center on campus, noticed that the machine located there decreased its variety of drink options to six. Water is not one of them.
“To my knowledge, I believe the vending machines are not stocked with water at Campus Rec because we sell water. That may be the reason why,” said Richardson.
Many students have pointed out the small fee that the credit card reader charges. It surprised some of them and might even turn away future customers. On the other hand, Jay Latham said the card reader has served her well.
“It was the best Sprite I’ve ever had,” said Latham, a senior at The W.
Haffly’s office is located at Plymouth Bluff which has the same vending machines as The W. He said that he prefers being charged a small fee versus not having the credit card readers at all. He feels the convenience is better than the alternative.