The bright red CVS machine is hard to miss as students walk through Lower Commons, providing a variety of products ranging from snacks to deodorant to Plan B.
Despite it being a new addition to the RWU campus, it already has undergone some technical issues, which have caused it to be unusable for about 2 weeks.
According to Kathryn Kanterman, director of purchasing at RWU, the machine was down because it needed a new PC. Yet the repair took much longer than Kanterman had hoped for, as the part needed was out of stock. Therefore, the wait consisted not only of the repair itself but also the time it took to return to stock and then to be received.
The CVS machine brings about questions of convenience, especially in relation to the bookstore. While many students seemed fairly neutral on the matter, some believed there was an increased convenience with the CVS machine as it provides different and potentiallycheaper products than the bookstore.
Freshman Allison Ricker is one student who believes there is a certain convenience within the availability of the CVS machine, with it being accessible the entire time Commons is open as opposed to the limited hours of the bookstore.
“The CVS [machine] is always there and you can always go to it, whereas the bookstore might be closed sometimes. I think it's more convenient in that sense,” Ricker said.
Andrea Edwards, a sophomore health and wellness educator (HAWE) also explained how the machine removes the potential discomfort of buying certain items.
“Even though it says they say they sell Plan B for $10 at Health Services, a lot of people are very hesitant because you have to talk to people and buy it through a person, so it's a lot easier for students to have access to it where they don’t have to have that [face to face interaction],” Edwards said.
An interesting conversation has emerged on campus regarding the placement of the machine. It seems some students enjoy the central and busy location, while others are concerned about privacy in such a public place.
“Pros being its in the center of campus and there's a lot of foot traffic there, but at the same time for more discreet items where you want some privacy, I feel like there could be better locations,” Whiffen said.
Discussion of changing the placement has brought to attention not only the necessity for a central location but also the possible desire for increased privacy.
This is something Kanterman said she is willing to assess as the trial period of the machine continues. She assured the process of purchasing and placing new items for campus is not dictated by one person, but rather many people — different perspectives are involved and taken into account.