Some students and faculty noticed empty spots where vending machines stood last year.
As of Aug. 7, many vending machines have been sold out, turned off or completely removed as SIU began the transition from former vending provider Robertson Vending, a Carbondale-based vending distributor, to Pepsi MidAmerica in Marion.
Lori Stettler, assistant vice chancellor for auxiliary services, said the contract with Pepsi MidAmerica is being finalized, and vending machines will be replaced as soon as this weekend.
“It’s obviously going to be progressive because there are over 250 vending machines to replace, but (Pepsi MidAmerica is) going to start replacing them this weekend,” she said.
Out of the 250 vending machines, 70 are still on campus but empty to have them ready for the move. Stettler said Pepsi MidAmerica will replace all machines and vending items for its machines and products, and will add more around campus.
She said the university follows state procurement regulations, which means anyone in Illinois can place a bid to the university after contracts are expired or cancelled.
Stettler said the deal with Pepsi MidAmerica should have been finished before the school year started, but negotiations for the contract ran into problems. She declined to comment as to what the specific problems were.
Rick Robertson, owner of Robertson Vending Company, said his business’ contract should have ended in June 2014, but it was terminated three years ago. Robertson Vending Company remained the vending provider for SIU until Pepsi MidAmerica won the bid.
Robertson said he was told only weeks ago to move out, and he completed the move in 10 days.
Stettler was not available by press time Tuesday to comment on Robertson Vending Company’s contract termination.
In July, the SIU Board of Trustees approved a $5.5 million, 10-year deal with Pepsi MidAmerica to acquire bottle, can and fountain drinks for the campus and residence halls. The deal ended the university’s 10-year contract dealings with Robertson Vending.
Some students dislike the empty vending machines on campus.
Elizabeth Wise, a senior from Chicago studying human nutrition and dietetics, said she knew about the company switch because her friends told her, but she was upset she could not grab snacks in between classes. She also said the deal should have been finished before the school year started.
“It’s not a big deal, but it should have been taken care of,” Wise said.
Andrea Davidson, a freshman from Pinckneyville studying psychology, said she noticed the vending machines are empty or missing. She said she was upset that machines were empty and thinks they should have been finished before the year began.