SIU is close to completing a new deal that will provide the campus with new vending machines.
Vending machines have been absent since the start of the school year because the university’s contract with Robertson Vending Company ended. Lori Stettler, assistant vice chancellor for auxiliary services, said Pepsi MidAmerica will install more than 250 new Pepsi and snack machines to replace those removed by Robertson.
Stettler said work was being completed Thursday on machine installation at the Recreation Center and Student Health Center, as well as other locations on campus. She said work would continue until all vending machines have been replaced on campus.
The new vending contract came after the university recently placed an open auction, where individuals could bid on the rights to be the university’s sole vending machine provider.
Chancellor Rita Cheng said in her State of the University address Wednesday the deal with Pepsi MidAmerica will cause a significant revenue increase which will go toward a Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship Fund. Cheng said these scholarships will be used to increase enrollment by attracting high- achieving students to the university.
Stettler said Pepsi MidAmerica and the university are close to signing the $5.5 million deal, which would cover a 10-year span. Stettler said the contract with the Robertson Vending Company ended in August. She said Robertson Vending was asked to remove its equipment in anticipation of Pepsi MidAmerica providing all new equipment to the campus.
Pepsi MidAmerica could not be reached for comment.
Robertson Vending removed all of its equipment from campus within 10 days in August.
Rick Robertson, owner of Robertson Vending Company, said his business contract should have ended in June 2014 but was terminated early.
Students have had mixed reactions to the absent vending machines.
“It would be nice to have access to vending machines (on campus),” said Denzel Spencer, a pre-major freshman from Chicago.
Spencer said the absence of the machines has not affected him, but they should have been installed before the year started.
Jacob Welter, a pre-major freshman from Fox Lake, said he hasn’t been affected by the lack of vending machines because he does not drink soda. However, he also said he thinks the school should have installed the machines already.
Brian Falasz, a senior from Libertyville studying management, said he does not care about the vending machines being gone on campus. He said he thinks the school should have installed the machines at the beginning of the year because it would have generated more money for the university.