By Angela Brown
With the flick of a wrist, Ryerson students can now use their Ryerson One Cards to buy a coke at nearly half of the campus’ pop machines.
Ryerson paid to have swipe devices installed on 55 of the school’s 120 machines, at a cost of nearly $900 each. The installation coincides with a marketing campaign the university is planning for next September to tout the universal card.
“The [swipe] devices will eventually pay for itself,” said John Corallo, Ryerson’s director of ancillary services, but the hefty installation price kept the university from installing the gadget on all the campus’ machines.
The basement of Jorgenson Hall the Rye-O-Mat lounge in North Kerr Hall are some of the places where the machines have been outfitted.
With the OneCard program, students can have a balance put onto their magnetic-strip student card, which they can swipe around campus to pay for different services.
Students who didn’t set up an account during registration week can do so any time by visiting the Ryerson One Card office, room A04 in Jorgenson Hall.
Corallo said students already use the One Card to pay for photocopying, laser printing and meal plans, and the pop machines are just the next step in a larger plan to market the card.
The marketing campaign planned for September — complete with flyers and posters — will show off the convenience of the card, encouraging students to make it the most popular way to spend their money on campus.
Brion Robison, a first-year post-graduate journalism student, said he’ll use the card because he’s had enough bad experiences losing change in the machine.
“I’ve lost two or three dollars already this semester,” he said. “If you don’t have any money on you, you just use your card. It’s definitely an efficient idea and I would use it.”
Corallo said Coke had nothing to do with the OneCard being added to the pop machines.
Coke has ben Ryerson’s only officially-sanctioned soft drink since March 3, 1999, when administrators signed a contract with the cola company retroactive to September, 1998.
But it’s the last exclusivity deal the university will sign, Corallo said.
“It’s a fad that’s beyond us,” he said. “Universities jumped on board because they thought there was a lot of money in it.”
But the exclusivity concept wore off after all the backlash from student groups, he said.
Because of a confidentiality agreement, Corallo can’t say how much the five-year deal is worth, but when it was signed he said 37.5 per cent of the cash will be put toward student services, athletics and bursaries, and the rest would be used to help pay off the university’s capital debt.