Ellis Blake Hidalgo
Mercury Staff

Convenience machines will stay open late, offer hygiene products to students starting Fall 2019

At the start of the fall semester, two CVS vending machines will begin operating on the UTD campus. The machines will provide another avenue for students to get personal care items after campus shops close down.

Carrie Chutes, director of Auxiliary Services at UTD, began working on the project after receiving suggestions from Student Government. Seeing the student needs that could be addressed, she said she hoped to expand on the student services her office already provides.

“We have a bookstore vending machine in JSOM and one of the testing centers where we sell pens and pencils and blue books, earbuds, chargers, flash drives and things like that,” Chutes said. “So, I think that committee saw a CVS vending machine and thought that would be a great idea.”

Chutes said she sees the machines as another convenience the university provides. With the rapid pace students move at, she said she hopes having a quick way to access a pharmacy will be beneficial.

“This is just a different way to offer some basic needs,” Chutes said.

The two machines, located in Dining Hall West and the Student Union, will provide a range of pharmacy items, such as personal care and hygiene products, all sold at the same prices found at CVS locations.

“(They’re) personal care products, so it’s not just medicines,” Chutes said. “There’s peripherals — technology peripherals — feminine hygiene products and things like that.”

The machines will stay open late, with the SU location remaining open until midnight, and the DHW machine closing down at 1 a.m. With only two machines currently on campus, this year will test their viability and level of student need. Depending on their success, the project may expand and bring in new machines in coming years.

“Obviously we’ll be getting reports as to the activity they’re getting and sales reports,” Chutes said. “So we’ll see if there’s a need and we’ll continue to ask students what they think, and if there’s another location that might work, like the Visitor’s Center.”

While no other ideas for similar machines are currently being developed, Chutes expressed her office’s efforts for innovation in student services.

“We’re always open to new technology,” said Chutes. “I think UTD being the techy school it is, it’s in our interest to look and see what the latest and greatest retail avenues are.”