What SFU Needs: Vending machines that cater to any situation

Busy students want fast, cheap merchandise on the go

Vending machines selling only chips and pop are so last century. Illustration: Marissa Ouyang/The Peak

By: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate

If you’ve walked down the main hallway of the Applied Science Building or Academic Quadrangle, you may have seen those old and sad vending machines selling pop, chips, and various other junk food snacks. But is that the best we can do? Students need more than just a fatty, sugary rush to get them through the slog of classes.

What We Lack

Diverse vending machines that dispense the following:

1) Food options that taste of more than salt and sadness
2) Healthy food choices — fresh fruit anyone?
3) Drinks like tea without added sweeteners, or at least ones that aren’t overly sweet
4) Stationary that is cheap and accessible
5) Umbrellas or fresh socks when the rain catches students off guard

The Vision

Let’s face it, SFU students are seriously pinched for cheap, convenient items in times of emergencies. Introducing the E-Z Spirit Shop, a series of campus-wide, all inclusive vending machines! Vending machines around the world already sell everything from newspapers to clothes to computer parts. There’s no reason why SFU can’t do the same and install some vending machines that sell more than the usual unhealthy food fare. Break your pencil in the middle of your exam? There’s a vending machine for that just outside the room. Or maybe the weather forecast lied to you and it’s not actually sunny? BAM! Umbrella vending machine around the corner. Or maybe you’re like me and you stack your classes one after the other so that you foolishly have no time to wait in line for overpriced sandwiches during lunch hour. Instead of being forced to eat chips or whatever else you can find in your bag (mmm, granola bars?) there’s a vending machine for that too — hot soup on the go.  

 Why We Need It

SFU can and should install vending machines that sell real and nutritious food, freshly brewed coffee, or things that students could actually use in class. Vending machines are fast, so busy students don’t have to wait in long cafe lines during their breaks. The technology already exists and is being used in other places. Modern vending machines can squeeze fresh orange juice or grind coffee beans after the customer inserts their money. They could even sell SFU themed umbrellas if it would make corporate leadership happy. Just please, give us more than chips, nuts, ice cream, and soda in the machines. With these E-Z vending machines selling cool things that students actually want, first years will be overawed, students will be happy, and SFU can use the profits to fund their eternal construction around campus.