As you may or may not be aware, you have been robbed. Over the last few weeks and months, there have been a string of thefts from the vending machines on campus. While to those involved this may seem trivial, the implications are far-reaching and have significant consequences for everyone on campus.
Every time that a vending machine is broken into, you lose money. At Carleton, unlike most of our peer institutions, all of the revenue from the laundry and vending machines goes back to the CSA, and is subsequently allocated to student organizations, all-campus events, and basic campus services. What this means is that when you wash your clothes or buy a snickers, you are helping to support all of the wonderful things that happen at Carleton like Club Sports, Ebony, and the LOCAL bus. When these machines are broken into, not only do you lose the money from the food that is stolen, but the cost of repair as well.
This is not an insignificant amount of money either. As we have been going through our annual budgeting process, the income from the vending machines is projected to be about $10,000 below the historical norm. This is $10,000 that will not be spent on SUMO showing more movies, a better spring concert headliner, or more CANOE trips. This is money that has been stolen from you by a few individuals, and is not being used to make our organizations stronger. Without the vending machines, our ability to fund the events and organizations that Carleton students value is strained, and that is a position that none of us want to be in.
There are some at the campus who would like to see cameras installed in all the vending machines. There are others who would like to see them done away with entirely. These are the worst ways for this situation to be resolved, but they are conversations that will continue to be had as long as these thefts continue. By working together, however, we can bring an end to these meaningless, harmful thefts, and allow our student organizations and campus community to thrive.
If you see a vending machine that has had the glass missing, please call campus security (507-222-4444). If you experience a failure with a vending machine, please fill out a reimbursement form (https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/services/vending/refund/), and someone from campus services will be happy to help you.