Students form a line that extends beyond the dining venue’s capacity.
Ebtisam Mohammed places an order using a kiosk at Einstein Bros. Bagels.
By Kiyanna Noel
This semester at SUNY Plattsburgh has been filled with change. From a new online platform for homework submissions to who (or what) takes your order. The kiosks, or self-service machines, have been brought to the SUNY Plattsburgh campus. Located at Tim Hortons, Kent Cafe, Einstein Bros. Bagels and the new and improved Campus market, the kiosks have become a thing of the future.
In each location there are two kiosks: one that accepts meal swipes and the other for people to use their Dining Dollars, Cardinal Cash or credit and debit cards. Both kiosks also come with scanners for students to use when making specific purchases. However, students are divided as to how they truly feel about this change.
The kiosks have made it easier for students to order food and eliminate the pressures and anxieties of going up to a staff member and placing their orders. Senior Angelina Briggs acknowledges that although this is a new system, it has its perks.
“The kiosks are convenient,” Briggs said. “They make it easy for someone like me who isn’t always up for conversation.”
Student Kathryn Guyer, a junior, explained how the kiosks can make it easier for employees to read and complete orders as it eliminates having students at the register.
“I think that the kiosks can certainly benefit the workers. With the kiosks, the employees don’t have to have someone constantly on the register and then they can have more people making the food. The kiosks can also make food orders clearer on what the customer wants, it’s all the same, easier for the employees to make the food,” Guyer said.
Sophomore, Mrudangi Trivedi works at the Sundowner. While the Sundowner does not have kiosks, Trivedi admits that the kiosks are a great addition to our campus.
“My thoughts on the kiosk is that the machine is truly impressive in the ways of marketing and automated functionality,” Trivedi said.
The kiosks have their benefits, from minimizing communication to the marketing being done behind the scenes. While there are a number of pros to the kiosks, there are cons that cannot be overlooked.
Guyer explains how the two-kiosk idea is good in theory, but it seems to make one line longer than the other. Which can cause wait times to increase.
“The ones I’ve seen, there are two kiosks where only one can be used with a meal swipe, which is what a lot of people get, at least I’ve seen. So that makes one line super long at the meal swipe kiosk, and the other one, used with credit or dining, doesn’t get used much,” Guyer said.
In addition to the long lines to place your order, it also seems to take an increasingly longer wait time to receive your meal and ensure that it is made to your specific needs.
“Whether that’s an issue caused by the kiosk or not, I’m not sure,” Guyer said. “When I’ve ordered on the kiosk, it limits me from being more specific about my meal, since I’m not actually talking to a person who would be more able to specify my meal. The kiosk doesn’t allow that.”
The kiosks do not ensure that gloves are being changed for students who are vegans, allergic or have specific preference. That is the cost of eliminating the contact between the employee and the buyer.
However, there is an issue that hasn’t yet been addressed for the self-service counter at the Campus Market, which was formerly known as the Campus Express store. Stealing on campus is an ongoing problem. Whether it is stealing from the Sundowner or from the Campus Market, can the kiosks truly eliminate this issue or enhance it?
Trivedi has doubts as to what contributes to the stealing on campus, “On the other hand, I do feel that there’s a possibility of people trying to steal stuff by finding hacks,” Trivedi said.
The kiosks are an addition to our campus life for different reasons, but it is a way for students and staff to keep track of spending and use resources to enhance our sense of technology. While the machines have their various pros and cons, it’s safe to say the kiosks are a change that we all can be accustomed to for the future.
If you are having trouble at the kiosks, ask any worker or on-site supervisor to assist with your purchases. For more information visit https://www.plattsburgh.edu/plattslife/food-dining/index.html.