Hungry students aren’t happy, but CCNY needs the $$$ by Ashley Newell
Time is precious for CCNY students – and money even more valuable. So nobody on campus is happy about rising prices at the vending machines. Snack items and beverages have all gone up by five cents. “It sucks, I just noticed and I was like, what the hell!” says Ariana DeLeon, a 21 year old junior. “I use the vending machines because [they are] closer, and more convenient. Now if the prices decided to go up [more] I would not be purchasing.”
During the beginning of the Fall semester, students returned on campus to find snacks sold in vending machines that were normally $1.25 now priced at $1.30, and beverages have risen from $1.75 to $1.80. “The pricing is weird; today I was missing a dime, and that was a struggle,” says Joanne Chen, a freshman at City College. “It’s $2.25 for The Original Gummy Factory gummie bears. I thought it was a mistake, until the machine asked me for more money.”
During the summer break Metropolitan Food Service Inc, and Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation (AEC) came to an agreement to raise the prices on the vending machines. “Everything kind of goes up if you think about it,” said Chris McGehrin, Metropolitan Food Service director. “Every year or two, the prices are looked at – inflation, labor, maintenance, and fuel surcharges all come into the equation.”
The AEC, a non for profit organization at City College, oversees operational and administrative activities on campus to generate revenues. Jason Wallace is the executive director and was unavailable for comment. Services include the ID office, campus-wide dining, vending, catering, book-store operations, ATM services, copier services, student housing, etc.
In a time of budget crisis on campus, every penny helps. “The school makes 30% commission off vending machine sales, and funnels the money to put back into student clubs and activities,” McGehrin explained. According to the AEC, their mission is to identify and introduce new revenue producing opportunities to help support and finance student activities and organizations.
McGehrin shares a price-saving secret: “If students don’t like the prices, I encourage them to use the City One Card,” he says. “You don’t have to pay tax, so a Snicker normally costs $1.30; with the City One Card you only pay $1.19.”