Rage Against The (Vending) Machine sign now

We the undersigned would hereby like to take this opportunity to complain in the strongest terms about the changes in refreshment arrangements at 10:30-11:00 in the common room.

It has been stated that Prof. Luthert would like to encourage as many staff and students as possible who do not have access to communal refreshment facilities to take up this arrangement. In order to get together easily and facilitate research discussions. We the undersigned can think of no better way to ensure this is NOT the case than to remove the existing refreshment arrangements and replace them with a substandard service from a vending machine.

The beverages produced are inferior in quantity and quality, the use of disposable plastic cups is environmentally unfriendly, and the time taken to produce the drink is increased. In fact, time and motion studies undertaken on May 3rd indicated that the mean time taken for someone to obtain their beverage from the vending machine is 41 seconds (n=15). Given an estimate of 40 people, that results in over 27 minutes of constant machine use. This suggests that 30 minutes free vend may not be enough time, but more importantly, not everyone can have their break at the same time if they wish to avoid a 20 minute queue. If people are forced to take their breaks in shifts how are they possibly expected to spend time with their colleagues from other departments?

The result of this change so far is that members of the Institute spend their precious time queuing in order to obtain half a cup of barely drinkable beverage, before sitting down for an increasingly limited time to discuss matters with colleagues. Already this is having an impact diametrically opposed to that intended: Numbers attending have dwindled, as staff vote with both their feet and their taste buds, shunning the common room to drink their own coffee and tea in their own departments and offices.

We understand that the Selecta machine costs a large amount of money to have on site, but if it doesnt justify itself without forcing people to use it, it is inherently unjustifiable.

Give us back our coffee, give us back our kettle, give us back our communal break.

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Eugenia FitzgeraldBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
The Powers That Be (c/o Prof. Luthert)

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