Union Complex adds CVS vending machines

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Bethany Morris

The Southern Miss Union Complex, one of the most popular hangouts on campus, recently received a new addition. CVS Pharmacy retail vending machines are now provided in the complex for the convenience of Southern Miss students.

In addition to the machine in the Union Complex, there is a CVS vending machine located near the campus post office. These automated vending machines are stocked with on-the-go necessities. Some of the items that can be found in these vending machines include healthy snacks, over-the-counter health products and personal care products.

All of these products that can typically be found at CVS Pharmacy locations can now be accessed right on campus to meet the needs of students with busy schedules. The new machines were designed with convenience in mind and are intended to “meet customers where they are with on-the-go wellness solutions outside the traditional retail space” according to the CVS Pharmacy official website.

Each CVS vending machine is customized in order to fit the needs of each location. The items in the vending machines range from first-aid items to home and office essentials.

Assistant vice president for student life Denny Bubrig, Ph.D., said the machines were free.

“We actually get money based on community usage that can be reinvested back into the Union Complex,” Bubrig said.

“Truly, it was a team effort involving many people.” Regarding whose idea it was to install the machines, Bubrig said, “This is just one part of an effort to both add services and increase foot traffic through the Union Complex.”

Southern Miss students played an essential role in the implementation of the CVS vending machines.

“Last year, the Union Administrative staff led by director Jeff Taylor worked with Dr. Melinda McClelland’s marketing analytics classes to study usage and needs of the university community of their Union,” Bubrig said. “From that research, we were able to begin bouncing several ideas off of SGA president McKenna Stone and student leaders. Their feedback has been invaluable.”

Many students feel that the machines are a good idea and have a lot to contribute to the services offered on campus.

“I haven’t gotten a chance to use them yet, but they are a cool and convenient idea,” Ashur Smith, a sophomore art major said. “It’s great that the money is being reinvested into the school.”

Junior entrepreneurship major Jacob Smith also thinks the machines will be beneficial.

“I think it’s a neat idea. I’m sure a lot of people will find use for it,” Smith said. “It’s going to add a little more convenience for students so they don’t have to go off campus.”

The vending machines were viewed as a tool to increase student traffic in the Union Complex but are just a single part in a plan involving bettering the Union Complex and student life at Southern Miss.

“The cell phone charger rental and the CVS kiosks are just the first of several things we hope to do to enhance the Union complex and its services,” Bubrig said.