Thursday, February 22, 2024

Campus Market criticized for prices

By Hayden Sadler

Students have criticized the Campus Market for its prices. which are higher than off-campus retail locations.

The Campus Market made its debut at the beginning of the semester with a revamped design. The design is characterized by its use of kiosks for cashing out, a sushi bar and a breakfast sandwich shop. 

Typically, students cash out with their student ID, using either Cardinal Cash or Dining Dollars, both of which are equivalent to US dollars. Visitors to the campus store can also opt to use their own personal payment option, such as a credit or debit card. 

The prices of products at the store, however, are far more expensive than those for which students can purchase goods off-campus. At locations such as Dollar General, a cup of instant ramen will cost no more than two dollars. At the Campus Market, it costs $3.99, a single pack of pudding is $4.99 and a six pack of 1-liter Life Water bottles is $23.99.

Both students and workers see problems in the cost of items available at the location. Joshua Simmons, a junior majoring in anthropology,  works at the Campus Market four to five days a week and is responsible for stocking the shelves and monitoring the kiosks. Simmons said he is one of two student workers at the location.

“Some of the items are too pricey,” Simmons said. 

He also noted that students had concerns about the costs of hygiene products. Simmons has also worked at a movie theater in the past, so he understands that some snacks may be overpriced. Overall, he referenced a convenience fee as a reason for the prices and urged students not to pay it if they don’t have to.  

Axel Rodriguez is a senior majoring in communications with a minor in marketing. Rodriguez said he only goes to the Campus Market sometimes. 

“When I’m lazy and don’t feel like going to Walmart,” Rodriguez said. “Some of us don’t have cars, don’t feel like getting on the shuttle.” 

Rodriguez said that the store should adhere to its former name, “express,” by making sure it’s a quick and painless experience. Painless could mean less convenience fees and a system that works in favor of students.

“The value of products needs to reflect the name of the store,” Rodriguez said. 

Many on-campus students, such as Simmons, use Dining Dollars and Cardinal Cash to purchase food during the semester. High pricing of products at the Campus Market could lead to students struggling to find food at the end of the semester.

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