Vending Machine School Supply

For those of you who are too familiar with sprinting to the Barnes and Noble to grab a last-minute blue book, or those who lose pens and pencils like it is your job, it has probably crossed your mind why there is not a closer location where one can find class essentials.

On many occasions, I have found myself scrambling to purchase a blue book the day of a test for the one class that requires them. This means that I have to run the mile to Barnes and Noble right before class so I can complete my exam as the teacher intended. Other times, I do not realize I am running out of paper before it is too late. This means that I have to make yet another inconvenient trip to Barnes and Noble.

One would think that our Purchase on Demand Markets would carry such products. Sadly, you can only find up-charged food items. One way that we can help alleviate this problem is to install vending machines that carry school supplies. 

As much as I enjoy perusing the wares at Barnes and Noble, it is not exactly what you would call an ideal or convenient location. The trek from the Drill Field to Barnes and Noble is not for the faint of heart and definitely not for students rushing to get their supplies before a class.

While the walk to Barnes and Noble is a great source of exercise, I know students rushing to grab pens, paper or bluebooks would be relieved if they could save some energy by finding a location closer to heavily used buildings. I know that placing such a vending machine in every building is not realistic, but if one or two could be placed in highly trafficked locations, such as the Union and the Library, it would really help out not only students but also professors.

Many schools already have such vending machines in place, including Emory University, the College of Charleston, Texas A&M University, Louisiana State University and the University of Florida to name a few. According to Avanti Vending Machines, a purveyor of school supply vending machines, their vending machines come equipped with scantrons, blue books, pens, pencils, highlighters, notepads and USB drives—anything a college student or professor may need.

Not only does the variety of items satisfy the needs of those on campus, but the machine itself can also be customized to bear the logo of the business that purchases it. I think that if our local bookstores purchased a few of these types of vending machines, it would not only make them fast cash, but it would also be an opportunity for additional advertising. 

However, with all good things comes some exploitation. As one could expect, the installation of these vending machines may result in the items within to be subject to inflation. According to University of Florida student Ashley Goez, the items in their vending machines are significantly more expensive than other places, as reported by Samantha Shavell of the The Independent Florida Alligator. As a result, Goez also said she would not frequently purchase school supplies from the vending machines.

While it may not be a good idea to purchase school supplies in bulk at the vending machines, it could save students and professors valuable time and energy.

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