Bwog is grateful for Columbia’s sizeable flock of vending machines, with their promise of large amounts of readily available, prepackaged foods, junk and otherwise. Certain oddities within the vending machine empire, however, cannot be ignored.
• The green leaf symbol, supposedly found next to so-called “healthy snack choices” in campus vending machines, suffers from highly inconsistent placement. Baked Lays, for instance, are considered to be healthy in Hartley, but not in John Jay. Arcor-Brand fruit snacks are healthy in both John Jay and Hartley, but not Wallach. And, until last year, the vending machines in Lerner lobby featured another dubious “healthy choice”—Doritos.
• Rock Star Energy Drinks, available in vending machines in Lerner and EC, cost $2.50—yet the flex-card swipers attached to them allow you a maximum credit of $1.50, making the refreshing treats essentially impossible to purchase with flex, despite the presence of CUID swipe boxes.
• Last year’s infamous iPod Shuffles are no longer available for sale in the vending machines in the basement of Lerner—although you can still get your music fix with a blank CD and a $15 iTunes gift card.
• And, perhaps most shockingly: current upperclassmen will notice a disturbing trend in the size of the packages of Cheez-Its, Bwog’s radioactive orange treat. In the 2004-2005 academic year, the average size of a bag of Cheez-Its from a campus vending machine was one and a half ounces. Last year, it was two ounces. This year, the bags are three full ounces. That’s fully double the amount of Cheez-Its we were expected to consume three years ago. What’s more, the same 3-oz. bag will cost you $1.25 in Hartley, but only $1.00 in all other campus buildings. The madness! Where does it end?