By Rodolfo Trujillo
Vending machines need to dispense more vital supplies than chips and soda, even though reporters, especially certain opinion writers, like chips and soda.
Imagine this scenario.
It’s 8:45 p.m. and your pen has run out of ink. What could you do if no one has an extra pen to lend to you?
The local store is too far to go and come back in a reasonable amount of time.
You could miss out on the most important part of a lecture.
The bookstore closes at 7 p.m. and for a lot of people going to the bookstore itself means a 10-minute walk across campus, which is time wasted.
Some students have hectic schedules, and if the only time they can get to school is after 6:30 p.m., that is just enough time to go to class.
Having to come early just to go to the bookstore would not work. Some students might not get off from work until 5 p.m. or later, leaving them little time to spare. Others might have to make sure that their children are fed before rushing to school or have other obligations.
In today’s fiscal climate, it does not seem feasible to keep the bookstore open later, just to sell pencils and pens.
The college is struggling to keep classes available, let alone keep the bookstore open later. It would make sense to have vending machines that dispensed school supplies such as pens, Scantron sheets, highlighters, flashcards and maybe a small notebook.
Granted, stationery is not the typical supply that most vending machine companies might have, but with some searching, it just might work.
There are companies that offer this service already. It’s done at other colleges and universities.
Perhaps the school could pay for the vending machine and simply have the bookstore’s staff in charge of stocking it. It could mean extra revenue for the bookstore.
Perhaps, one of those machines could be in the library and another next to or inside of every building.
They could even offer small-sized deodorant, lip balm or an extra pair of socks for those who need some last-minute freshening up. There are many options for what to put in the machines.
So think about it, powers that be. Students are running close to empty sometimes and they need a refill, not just energy-wise.