Shepherd University has recently changed its Rambler Card system provider from Blackboard to Atrium and they have also changed to a new snack vending company called Black Tie.
Most students may be unaware of the new changes as they relate to who provides what and why, but they are certainly aware of the repercussions of the changes, namely the inability to use Ramblers to make purchases from vending machines. Students have been wondering all semester why their Ramblers haven’t been working in the machines and when this problem will be remedied.
Jack Shaw, the director of dining services, has been overseeing the changes in vending and has said that the reason the Ramblers aren’t working is due to the switch to the Atrium card system provider. The Pepsi vending machines still have the old Blackboard card readers and the new machines lack any card reader at all. It is Shaw’s hope that by next semester the new card readers will be installed and up and running on all vending machines throughout campus.
One of the benefits of switching to Atrium, that has yet to take effect in the vending machines, is that once the card reader is switched over students will not only be able to use their Ramblers, but also credit and debit cards to make purchases.
Another advantage that has resulted in this switch is that in the new drink machines Mountain Dew is available. Many Shepherd students are quite thrilled with the addition of another soft drink. Jessica Gerber, an art education major, was happy about the fact that she could now get Mountain Dew from the vending machines, saying that she thought, “it was great.” She also voiced her opinion that she wants to use her Rambler in the machines.
In the meantime, several students have reacted negatively to the lack of Rambler access. Taylor Coleman believes it to be “a real inconvenience to students.” Brianna Goddard agreed by saying, “It sucks. I hate having to use all of my quarters.”
Despite the negative repercussions that have resulted from the switch in card reader systems and snack vendors, in the end there will be benefits that Shepherd students haven’t had before. It’s Shaw’s belief that “the overall relationships with Pepsi, Black Tie and Atrium should yield better service and greater return to the University in the long run.” Students hope the new card readers are installed and activated soon so that they may reap the full benefits of the University’s decision to switch vendors.