Students in Action has stopped servicing and running the vending machines on the Pine-Octavia campus, having raised money for charity and service projects through selling snacks for over five years.
SIA, the largest coed club in the Convent & Stuart Hall community, focuses on performing community service as well as connecting the student body with service opportunities.
“As a service club, we acknowledged that the waste produced by all of the snacks went against our club’s mission, as it negatively impacts the environment,” Henk Veld ’20 said. “The community also took them for granted. Students would take snacks from the machines without paying and damage the machines doing so.”
SIA put signs on the machines in spring of 2018 requesting that the student body not shake the machines to get snacks to fall out.
“SIA will not be servicing the vending machine, and I doubt any other organization within the school would do it,” SIA moderator Ray O’Connor said. “The machines started with Student Council and Student Council found them to be overwhelming to keep up with. We have also found it overwhelming to keep up with it.”
The remodel of the Pine–Octavia Columbus Room to include a full-service cafeteria, which started May 1, is also displacing the machines.
“Due to the remodel, it would’ve been extremely hard to find a place for them,” Veld said.
While it was overwhelming for SIA to run the machines in spite of the challenges posed by the community and the remodel, students found the machines a helpful convenience.
“Anytime I needed a snack, I’d go there,” Alexander Ellis ’21 said. “Now I won’t have a midday snack, because I usually forget to pack one.”
Ellis says the machines were also a “hang out” spot.
“It brought the community together in a way and I loved bumping into my friends there,” Ellis said.