Mar

28

But How Much Does That Crunch Bar Really Cost?

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SIPA lobby vending machines take price competition to a whole new level:

Photos by ECS

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19 Comments

  1. 20oz Pepsi also

    Costs 10 cents more at one end of SIPA than the other.

  2. Rob  

    I CARE! there's a recession out there!!!! Every penny counts! It's the snobs like you who got us in this toxic derivative crisis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! jk

  3. Hey Bwog  

    Check out the mathematics vending machines also.

  4. OMG  

    check out the scathing email some random Journalism alum sent to CCO. Anyone read the long rant? Hilarious.

    • meh  

      to add on to that, I didn't think CCO was a complete disaster, but they could have provided free metrocards or something (well, wishful thinking considering how expensive it would be). I spent a lot just on subway fares yesterday, but I think the free Domino's pies and lion dancing made up for it. Dude was just PMSing.

      • here  

        Evan, my name is Joshua Kors. I'm a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, class of 2003, and have participated in many Columbia alumni events, including the 2009 hike at Breakneck Ridge and the recent Union Square bowling and carnival. Naturally I was excited to participate today in the Outreach event. Unfortunately your Outreach Saturday was an unmitigated disaster, one that left me in awe of the incompetence and stupidity of those in charge.

        I'd like to describe for you what happened today at your event, as I think it's important for you to know the experience of people who came to volunteer. I hope you will share this email with others on the committee.

        As I said, I was excited to participate. I even got an email this weekend from a fellow Columbia alum who knew about the outreach event but couldn't make it. She was incredibly disappointed, as she said, because she knew Columbia's outreach would be even more significant than her work at the local women's shelter. Little did she know the disaster she was avoiding. ... So I woke up early, walked to the East Village subway, took the L to the 2 to the 1 and on to Columbia. It was a longer trip than usual: like all the alums who participated in today's event, I was stuck at the 96 Street station for a good while, with construction shutting down tracks in both directions. When I finally arrived, I walked to event coordinator's table and waited in a long line to check in. When I got to the front, I was told to go to another table, near the journalism school, to wait in that line and check in there. So I did that, waited again, checked in a second time, and was told to meet my group at Meeting Place 28 near the College Walk. So I walked there. But no one was there. Next I returned to the main table, and they told me that if no one was there, I should seek guidance at the Alumni Table. So I located the Alumni Table, waited in line a third time, and met with an alumni coordinator.

        She laughed, as if she'd been facing this tornado of incompetence all day. "This event, it's basically run by the students, the kids," she said, "so naturally they don't know what the hell they're doing." All while we were talking, a series of lecturers stepped to the podium nearby and spoke loudly, proudly and at great length about how this Outreach Saturday embodied the best of Columbia University. "Some people in the city think we're just here in our ivory towers writing essays about people and poverty," bellowed the speaker. "Today we are proving them wrong. We're reaching out to New York's people, and we're helping New York's poor," she said, to great applause. ... The alumni coordinator told me I had two options: I could either go straight to outreach event and meet up with everybody there or, she said, there was a second alumni outreach event going on right now at the park near Columbia, set up for and designed by Columbia's marching band. "You weren't in the band, I know," she said, "but you're welcome to join them if you like."

        I thought about it, then told her no thanks, that I was going to follow your direction and go straight to my outreach event at Dinosaur Park, following the details you emailed to me two days ago (attached). According to your plan, my group's event was going to be run by a woman named Erin. I called her: no answer. I waited a few minutes and tried again: no answer again. I left a voicemail explaining who I was and why I was calling. A few minutes later I got a call from a man named Eric. He said there must have been some confusion about who was leading the event, but he in fact was the leader--he had no idea who Erin was--and he told me to subway down to Dinosaur Park. I agreed, and after being stuck in the construction-filled subway for another stretch, I arrived at the 96th Street stop and walked to the park.

        When I got there, I learned that I was the only Columbia student, past or present, to show up for today's event. In addition to me and group leader Eric (who had no Columbia connection), we were joined by six or seven locals (some old people, some parents in their 50s who had their toddlers in tow), all people who just happened to be walking through the park today and decided to lend a hand. No one involved knew anything about Columbia or had heard that the university was holding an outreach event today. Well, I figured, what the hell--I'd woken up early and trekked out here. I should press on and see what the outreach project was.

        Eric explained: There was a load of sand sitting in the middle of Dinosaur Park's playground. Our job was the take the shovels and dump the sand into the two sandboxes. So I started to dig. Soon, though, I couldn't help but wonder where all this sand came from. "The organizers of the Riverside Park Fund came and dumped it here for us," he said. I scratched my head and asked why, if they were just going to dump it, didn't they dump it directly into the sandbox. "Oh," said Eric, "well, they thought that having you shovel the sand into the box would inspire you to participate in community betterment." I was stunned. And I thought, what an ugly rebuke to all the people in this city who truly need Columbia's help: those in the homeless shelters, medical clinics, veterans organizations, local schools, women's shelters and on and on. And here we are shoveling sand from the ground into a sandbox two feet away because you, Columbia and the leaders of the Riverside Fund thought that this shoveling would inspire us participate further in community betterment--or were too disorganized and stupid to ask what events the Riverside people had in line for Columbia's volunteers. Just amazing.

        I continued shoveling for ten minutes or so. I felt like a Scientologist who hadn't paid his bill and was forced into indentured servitude for the Church's construction projects. Then, when Eric wasn't looking, I slipped away and went to my brother's apartment, which thankfully, coincidentally, was nearby. ... In an odd, final twist to the day, when I told my brother and his three-year-old daughter about Columbia's imploded effort at outreach, his daughter got so excited by the Dinosaur Park that she demanded we all go there. And so 30 minutes later we were back at the digging site I had fled. The seven elderly volunteers were gone now, as was the pile of sand, and I watched from afar, from the park's swing set, as Eric gathered the abandoned buckets and shovels and at last left the park himself.

        Evan, I won't go so far as to say that this event did the opposite of what was intended: a day of digging and dumping sand won't erase my interest in community betterment. But I'll certainly think twice before participating in any more Columbia-organized community betterment projects. And if any friends or classmates of mine tell me they're going to participate, I'll make sure they know exactly what Columbia means by "community betterment" before they head out through the subways to return to the College Walk.

        Your event today embodied the very worst of Columbia, as it truly was the opposite of everything it proclaimed so loudly to be. It was big speeches, hot air and great decibels of self-congratulation proclaimed by megaphone ... followed by zero students showing up, alongside zero alumni, to do work that was never intended to help anybody.


        -- Joshua Kors '03J

        • past participant  

          Actually, this sounds eerily similar to the experience I had when I did CCO my sophomore year... Long lines, nobody at the meeting point, heading downtown by myself only to be the only Columbia student there... The people at the YMCA had no idea what I was supposed to be doing, so they had me help out at a child's birthday party. Needless to say, I did not sign up again...

          • Anonymous  

            I totally agree. My assignment was to work at Riverside like that guy, and when I got to the group meeting place, no one was present. It's highly unfortunate that people sign up, and tend not to show. It is even more unfortunate that I had to go join another group's team because I did not want to be the only person raking stuff. I had a fun time, met a lot of people, but it was still highly disorganized.

          • Anonymous  

            No-shows are a problem. When I did CCO a long time ago, my group ended up merging with another group. And we didn't know where we'd go until the day of.

            Maybe the CCO folks should email the list of volunteers directly to the non-profit, and then the non-profit can write a nice personalized thank you in advance email for volunteering - thus creating an obligation and inducing guilt to the no-shows.
            Or maybe an honor code?

      • Anonymous  

        figured it was too damn long for people to read. I think it was only sent to CCO people or something.

  5. Math building  

    The vending machines in the Math building are much cheaper than the rest of the campus, and they have stuff other machines don't

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