What Grinds Our gears: Campus vending machines

Vending machine? More like venting machine

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A man is yelling at a vending machine. The heel of his fist is against the glass, and he is leaning against the side of the machine. On his face is a look of pure outrage.

By Craig Allan, Peak Associate

Much ado has been made about the lackluster food offerings available on campus, but one area that does not receive its share of criticism are SFU’s vending machines.

Too often I go to the vending machines as my last hope, only to find they never work. After making a choice, I tap my card, only to read that the machine is cash only. Why have a card option if it will only take cash? Luckily, I do carry change with me . . . only to have the machine return it. Or in some cases, take the change and give nothing in return. I don’t want to walk all the way to security to complain about this — and they probably won’t even be able to do something about it — so I just have to accept that my change is gone.

This is an issue at both Burnaby and Surrey campuses, and it’s worsened because after about 7:00 p.m., most food offerings at SFU are closed. I don’t want to walk to UniverCity, and Central City Mall at SFU Surrey is usually closed at this time. SFU could fix this by getting newer vending machines that actually take payment by card, and by stocking the machines more frequently. There is no reason why this can’t be done in 2022.

A salad robot vending machine and a vending machine drug store are cool and everything, but they don’t really help when I’m just looking for a quick, cheap bite to eat between studying.