Due to the convenience of using UR IDs for virtually all monetary transactions at UR, from buying coffee to textbooks to event tickets, many students do not carry cash with them. A lack of cash is usually not a problem because many locations on campus accept UR IDs. However, a large number of campus vending machines only take cash.
While most vending machines in dorms have card readers, many others on campus, particularly those in academic buildings, do not. This is an inconvenient problem that could easily be rectified.
Some vending machines are located in places on campus where other food establishments are inconveniently far away; drinks and snacks provided by vending machines are therefore often attractive options that many students take advantage of, especially when other places might be closed.
For example, the vending machines located in Meliora Hall cannot be used with UR IDs. Neither can the ones located in Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics. Although Pura Vida is located in Goergen and can provide students with needed sustenance, the ease and convenience of the vending machines, in addition to the fact that they do not require waiting in a line, is sometimes preferable. These benefits are negated, however, by the fact that the machines cannot be used without cash.
Similarly, some vending machines in convenient locations such as those in the tunnel system do not have card readers, which is an incongruous problem given the fact that the tunnels receive so much foot traffic; students rushing between classes and other commitments are the population most poised to take advantage of the snacks and drinks from vending machines, but cannot because of the lack of a card reader. Additionally, a vending machine that sells snacks in Todd Union can only be used with cash, while one offering drinks takes both.
A system like that in place for most laundry machines on campus should be instated in regards to vending machines — most laundry machines can be used with cash, but also with UR IDs. Given that faculty and visitors also use vending machines and might prefer to use cash, a system needs to be instituted for vending machines such that anyone on campus can still make the desired transaction with either means of currency.