Campus vending machines not all created equal

Photo by Evan Ludes/ The Gateway Machine shows a variety of snack items. Most machines carry the required chips - but not all are the same
Photo by Evan Ludes/ The Gateway
Machine shows a variety of snack items. Most machines carry the required chips – but not all are the same

By Hannah Gill, Contributor

Junior Vivian Huang, a psychology major, was sitting in Roskens Hall at a table covered in homework, enjoying the natural light, an oatmeal cookie and Doritos. As one might expect, the homework occupied more of her thoughts than her vending machine snacks.
“I just get whatever I see. I don’t think too much,” Huang said.
Fortunately for Huang, and for future food-desperate students, The Gateway has put together a vending guide to clue-in students on the best of their convenient options around campus. Don’t be fooled, though they may all be sourced from Treat America Food Services, all options are not equal.

Arts and Sciences Hall
Amenities: Microwave, paper towels, two computers, printing, MavMoney reloader, nearby drinking fountain and five machines.
Seating: Ten tables and padded chairs, artificial light and linoleum.
As one can deduce from the seating arrangement, ASH is well equipped with amenities but not ambience. If you are not planning on staying long sit down, but be wary of possible sell-outs, especially on the prized chocolate milk.

Roskens Hall
Amenities: Microwave, counter, five machines.
Seating: Natural light and high ceilings.
It’s ASH, but infinitely better, and only three short minutes away. These machines are usually fully stocked, often with vending jackpots like Lunchables, cheese biscuit sandwiches and Anderson’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets. The name may not be appetizing, but they are a filling bang-for-buck option.

Milo Bail Student Center
Limited vending here, but the convenience store is like one big, open vending machine that takes more than $1s, $5s and MavMoney.

Allwine Hall
Amenities: Tumbleweeds
Seating: The floor outside of classrooms.
Don’t be fooled by the bulky black fridges full of horticulture flowers, there is no food in this desert. Fortunately, the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) and the MBSC are across the plaza.

Amenities: Four machines, microwave, sound television, printing, drinking fountain, sink, soap and towels.
Seating: High top and regular tables, padded chairs and mood lighting.
The lounge is offset with a door, making for a more contained experience near some of the cleanest bathrooms on campus. Unfortunately, the machines don’t accept a wide range of currency, and the television is often set to daytime cable.
Community Engagement Center
Amenities: Two microwaves, towels, drawers, drinking fountain bathrooms and five machines.
Seating: The Union Pacific Atrium has some colorful, large and comfortable coaches with high ceilings and natural light.
Past the Union Pacific Atrium is an alcove of vending machines with some of the healthiest options on campus- including whole fruits cheaper than the $2.25 cups found in other locals. It’s also the only coffee machine offering Almond Amaretto Cappuccino and French Roast from White Bear Coffee. Beyond paying, the CEC is a great place to score freebies that don’t come from the Mav Food Pantry, but kind collaborators with leftover meeting treats.

Criss Library
Amenities: 1 operational microwave, counter, six machines.
Seating: Library commons.
Famed for its Starbucks and cafe sandwiches, the library offers good vending options for a late-night cram session. It has a UNO bookstore vending machine, which doles out motrin, cold medicine and school supplies. However, if you aren’t coming from the shuttle entrance, be prepared for a flight of stairs. Sophomore pre-nursing major Ximena Valenzuela, who uses the microwave to heat her food twice a week, reminds us of why inclusive seating is important to the vending experience.
“Everyone is eating there, so I think it’s proper, rather than chomping food while people are trying to study.”
The seating and microwaves are free, so consider moving out of a quite area with those potato chips and slurpy soup.

Weber Fine Arts Building
Amenities: Three Machines.
Seating: Up the stairs and across the hall.
Unless arriving from the Library parking entrance, these vending machines are down a flight of stairs, and don’t include seating or many options. For example, none of the four recommendations from Treat American “the right choice for a healthier you” approved choices were stocked. Of course, Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisps were only found in one vending machine (CEC) and Rice Crispies in none. The only redeeming quality of this set is a guaranteed pop-tart stock, including brown sugar.

Durham Science Center
Amenities: Microwave, five computers and six machines.
Seating: Ample large circular tables and standard chairs.
Located in 108 Student Lounge, these are out of the way, but they provide some of the most varied options on campus and remain well stocked. It’s worth the few minutes trip from Weber, even if you have to walk down all the stairs.
South Campus
The buildings are so unreasonably spaced that students are pretty much stuck with whatever machines are offered. Unhappy customers may as well walk or shuttle to Aksarben for better options.




  1. This article was inaccurate. Some buildings aren’t even listed while others simply have incorrect descriptions. I was especially upset with the way that South Campus was completely glossed over. You can’t write in detail about almost every other building on campus but just refuse to write about the ones that are far away. PKI, Mammel Hall, and the Scott Conference Center all have vending machines that could have been mentioned. We all know what a vending machine looks like. Maybe some of the space filled with pictures of them could have been used to provide more helpful information. I liked the idea of this article, but it felt rather rushed and incomplete.

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