Vending Machines Cash Out Interest

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The addition of two vending machines outside the school cafeteria seems to be a hit among students in the mere two weeks since its introduction. Aside from a number of errors, caused by both the machine and the people who use it, the vending machines serve as the new “happening” spot at Stone Bridge. 

The first, and seemingly most popular machine, has “Work Hard Snack Often” written on its side and includes images for fruits and foods that are commonly considered healthy. Nonetheless, the machine is stocked with items from protein bars to energy drinks. Whether the items in the vending machine are consistent with its healthy exterior is up for debate.

“There’s more selections in the one directly outside the cafeteria, therefore I think as of the moment it’s better,” junior Xander Marquardt said.  

Administration limits use of the vending machines to 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., during lunch. On Tuesday, the machine directly outside the cafeteria was originally programmed to be out of service during those hours. Unfortunately, it was programmed to return to service at 1:30 AM instead of 1:30 PM–making the machine virtually obsolete during school hours. Luckily, the problem was resolved on the same day.

While both machines accept credit cards and Apple Pay, the machines have gained a reputation for not holding their end of the bargain.Sanjay Munagapati is just one of many students who have experienced this machine error. 

“I was trying to get a Dr. Pepper, I put my card in and nothing came out,” Munagapati said. “When I checked my bank account, I saw I had been charged 12 times.”

Munagapati has not received his Dr. Pepper to this day. 

The prices of items in the vending machine are another cause for concern. 

… I think as of the moment it’s better.”

— Xander Marquardt

“There’s a decent selection but it’s quite pricey,” Marquardt said. “I think a dollar is good for snacks and drinks could be from $1.50 to $2.00.” 

Even though there are some problems with the vending machines, many students appreciate the new units while acknowledging that there is still room for improvement

“I am not against having vending machines,” said Dr. Mandes. “I think it needs to be done appropriately, while taking everybody’s needs into account.”