After finding drinks with unsettling expiration dates in campus vending machines, some students are beginning to question the care that goes into stocking MTSU’s drink machines as well as campus dining options.
When MTSU freshman Gabby Pearson purchased a Gatorade on Feb. 17 from a vending machine in Cummings Hall, she found that it had expired on June 17, 2012. Pearson looked more closely at the drink and discovered several clumps of white mold on the inside of the bottle.
“Every time I have gotten a drink out of one of the machines (on campus) it has been expired,” said Pearson. “Usually it’s only a few months old, but this was ridiculous.”
Pearson said she “almost threw up” after receiving the nearly three-years expired drink.
Pearson posted photos of the drink to Facebook in a call to action to MTSU faculty. “Someone PLEASE give me a number to contact about this. I’m not the first person to complain about our drinks being out of date,” the post reads. “Further actions will be taken if this issue is not resolved in a timely manner.”
As Pearson mentioned, she is not the only student who has received extremely outdated beverages from a machine on campus.
“I don’t get drinks too often because I know that if I do, it’s going to be old,” said freshman Nesha Smith. “It makes me feel like food services at MTSU in general is subpar.”
“I think it’s just negligence,” said freshman Dwight Harris. “Don’t they have a schedule of when they’re supposed to change the drinks out? They need to try and get more on top of things like that.”
Vice President for Marketing and Communications Andrew Oppmann commented on Pearson’s Facebook post saying, “Gabby, we have asked the Cummings staff to unplug the machine and put an ‘Out of Order’ sign on it. We’ll sort this all out when the full campus reopens for business. Thanks for the alert.”
Though the university offered Pearson a refund, as of Friday, Feb. 19, no sign has been placed on the machine and drinks with expiration dates in 2012 and 2013 are still available in that machine, other machines in Cummings, and machines in Corlew Hall, Peck Hall and Kirksey Old Main.
“I don’t think (the administrators) really care. Because if they cared, when we’ve all complained all the other times, they would have done something,” Pearson said.
“It kind of makes me wonder (about) the food at McCallie and (the James Union Building),” Pearson continued. “Because if they’re willing to give us expired drinks, how do we know the food there is in date.”
In response to us posting this article on Facebook, MTSU Vice Provost of Student Affairs Dr. Deb Sells said, “Both of the responsible vendors have advised that they understand the negative-implications of these type of occurrences and will to do whatever needs to be done to avoid a repeat in the future.”
“Further, they both have assured us their product refresh should be completed by the end of the week in all their vending machines,” Sells said.
Sells also said in her comment that MTSU will be placing stickers with procurement’s contact information for future product issues on the campus vending machines.
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