February 15, 2012
By Tashana Hughes | Ranger Reporter
Controversy is still in the air when it comes to discussing the cafeteria being replaced with fast-serving vending machines.
Toward the end of the spring 2011 semester, the cafeteria, which employed Great Western Dining, was officially closed.
“We were having to pay the staff because it wasn’t bringing in much money,” said Lynn Thornton, director of administrative services and human resources.
The vending machines are provided by an outside vendor, although Amarillo College receives a percentage of the sales as commission.
“From September to December, AC is up about $4,000 in commission from vending sales,” Thornton said.
Not all students feel the changes were positive.
“Personally, I liked the cafeteria because you had more of a healthier variety, and you didn’t have to drive off campus to get an actual meal,” said Susan Hartfelder, a forensic science major. “You didn’t have to wait in a long line because there are only three vending machines to use.”
So far, AC has saved about $100,000, which is the amount it would have paid Great Western Dining for cafeteria services.
“I think they should have kept the cafeteria, because some people might want to have their lunch made hot in between classes and not just junk food,” said I.V. Shaw, a radiography major. “Us as students should have had an option.”
The cafeteria now houses a variety of machines that supply everything from tuna fish sandwiches to sodas. Each machine also is equipped with a credit card slot. Microwave ovens also are available for use.