Vending on campus: Make the most of the munchies


Map by Alex Bentz ’14. Source: US Census

Map by Alex Bentz ’14. Source: US Census
Map by Alex Bentz ’14. Source: US Census

Whether its late-night cravings or an unquenchable thirst, vending machines are an important source of food and drank on campus. For many, the options in residence halls will suffice, but there are times when you haven’t eaten all day and find yourself in Olin-Rice. What’s a hungry student to do? Where should you turn for sustenence? Fear not brave Scot, The Mac Weekly has done the leg work of identifying snack options that don’t require human contact (sometimes dealing with people on an empty stomach is less than ideal) and are available at odd hours. Hidden in stairwells and off the main hallways, there are a variety of options—some appetizing and some questionable. Not all machines are created equal, and while most carry a good standard selection of snacks and soda, a few excell at offering relatively unique options. Many machines accept aux. points in addition to cash, though the card readers are sometimes less than functional. The map below shows buildings with vending machines darkened.

Residence Hall Machines

Residence halls might be the most important locations for vending machines. Accordingly, each of the dorms has at least one. There are vending machines in the basements of Doty and Turck. Dupre boasts soda machines on each floor and snacks on the first. 30 Mac, Bigelow and Wallace share a pair of vending options in their laundry room in the basement, one of which even sells cold medicine. Even upper-classman housing in GDD has vending machines on the first floor. At the end of the day (or maybe the beginning if it’s a very late night) you can’t beat the convenience of home. Not to mention that in the winter months there might be a temptation to hunker down, and access to food without going outside is great.

Weyerhaeuser Machine

Right across from the Financial Aid office in Weyerhaeuser there is a vending machine with easily the most variety of Coke beverages, as well as other sodas. If Diet Coke with lime, Coke Zero, etc. are your drinks of choice, this might be worth a stop.

Theatre Machines

After wandering around the theatre building, one may happen upon a pair of vending machines on the first floor of the building in a dark corner of a stairwell. The drink selection includes A&W root beer and lemonade, otherwise this set is unremarkable other than the uneasy feeling that the snacks may have been there for decades.

Olin Rice Machines

There are three vending machines in the basement of Olin-Rice. One has various snacks and the other two have different types of drinks. Of note, one of the machines has Monster, a rare find and perfect for late night study sessions when Dunn Brothers is too far away.

Campus Center Machines

These machines are well placed at the center of campus (aptly named the Campus Center) and carry a decent array of candy, chips and drinks. Perfect for when the Grille or Nessie’s are closed, popcorn isn’t cutting it, or the SAFEwalk table only has bike lights. The drink machine turns off when no one has been near it recently and comes back to life when it senses motion—so don’t get all jumpy if this happens to you.

Kirk Machine

Just outside the entrance to the Kirk Basement Lab, there is a single vending machine with a few drink choices. This might be the least enticing machine on campus, which, coupled with its proximity to KBL, is just really sad. If I’m up all night, I want better options within reach.

Link and Library Machines

The Link offers 24-hour access to its vending machines, which have a decent selection of snacks. There’s a fair amount of variety—Chex Mix and Gardetto’s—but be wary of eating loud crunchy snacks when sleep-deprived students are working in the Link.
The Library itself is home to a vending machine that dispenses hot coffee. Clearly DeWitt Wallace knows his audience.

Leonard Center Machines

The group of vending machines in the LC is probably the crown jewel of vending on campus. In addition to the common soda and snack machines that are found all around campus, there are machines offering fancier drinks and health products. In a world of carbonated beverages, it’s reasonable to be excited about apple juice and Sobe Lifewater available in vending machines. For those of us who are prone to stuffy noses, the machine stocked with cold remedies and other wellness products is a G-d send.