The vending machines. The iconic arm gymnastic hassle we all know and love to hate still remains one of the many eyes sores on campus. Dark and shadowy, locked in a cage, and filled with disgusting and unhealthy snacks.
The vending machines are not only unappealing but look indirectly hostile as if the snacks are being held against their will. But the ugly and well-protected snacks are just the beginning of what I consider to be a vending machine issue that our administration needs to look at closer and then consider removing all vending machines off-campus.
“School lunch programs often get a bad rap for not providing kids with proper nutrition, but vending machines on campuses are making matters worse…Consumption of foods and beverages currently offered in U.S. schools is detrimental to children’s diet quality,” said study researcher Madhuri Kakarala, of the University of Michigan Medical School.
The amount of pretend health foods like baked chips and sugary Snapple drinks along with Pop-Tarts and cookies have found their way onto our campus and now we are contributing to the poor diets of students.
But I get it, junk food is appealing and so is the cost. For just $1 students flock to the vending machine for a quick snack, but sometimes they are drawn to the vending machine during the class period which now causes a behavioral issue on our campus at Don Antonio Lugo High School.
Oh, and it gets worse, the vending machines have a massive reputation of, “eating people’s money.”
Obviously, a malfunctioning vending machine is going to make students mad, which is why the cages around them are necessary. They deter students from punching or kicking a “broken” machine.
But the cage around them makes our campus look unattractive and the added behavioral issue of vandalizing the machines out of frustration just seems to add to other behavioral problems on campus.
Don Lugo security has reported that they send two to three students back to class on a verbal warning daily because students are abusing the bathroom passes in their classes. People will spend minutes at a time during the passing period at the vending machines instead of getting to class. Then administrators wonder why tardiness and truancy to class are at an all-time high.
Sophomore treasurer Alexis Villapando thinks students are drawn to the vending machine and that behaviors will rise because “students will get hungry” if they don’t have access to snacks all day long.
Taking out the vending machines would force students to pack their own snacks. Sure, students might still make poor food choices, but I think removing the vending machines would eliminate out-of-class students, truancy, the unappealing black caged box from our campus, and force all snack revenue to benefit the student store.
ASB reports that the vending machines pull in about 10% of revenue, while the rest of the revenue goes to the company who restocks and sells the vending machines.
While Renaissance and the school’s general fund receives a measly 10% cut from the vending machines, the student store is losing potential revenue. I think the student store hours should be extended and open in the morning and open longer after school. If we remove the vending machines and became solely dependent on the student store, all the snack revenue would go to the school, behavioral problems would most likely be reduced, and the school would look cleaner.
If you ask me, the vending machines are simply not worth the hassle they cause.