By Katie Zeck
Following a comprehensive decision-making process involving students, faculty and administration, Rider has decided to negotiate a 10-year contract with Pepsi.
“We will be entering contract negotiations with Pepsi because the committee was almost unanimous in selecting Pepsi as the preferred vendor over Coca-Cola,” said Mike Reca, associate vice president of Auxiliary Services.
According to Reca, the new contract is currently going through the stages of legal review. However, the decision has been approved by the Department of Finance and the president’s office and Pepsi will be Rider’s official provider. Coca-Cola, which also had been under consideration, has been notified that the university will be renewing its contract with Pepsi.
As the 13-year contract Rider previously held with Pepsi came to a close, a committee made up of students and staff from different groups on campus was formed to interview representatives from both Coca-Cola and Pepsi and decide on a company based on the overall package each presented.
While most students seemed indifferent to a change in beverage providers, avid Coke drinkers were disappointed.
“I would have preferred Coke, personally,” senior Christine O’Brien said.
Others would have appreciated some sort of compromise.
“I would have been fine with either,” sophomore Stuart Kovacs said. “I just wish there would be a way to incorporate them both.”
Pepsi was re-selected as the campus’ main beverage provider for a number of reasons, said Jill Shockley, director of internal operations, who initated the selection process.
“Their sustainable efforts were better presented than Coke’s, their program offered a wide variety of beverages, maintaining what we have while bringing in some new [products] and Pepsi has a strong relationship with Aramark, the company the university recently renewed their contract with as Rider’s main food provider,” she said.
In addition to a wide variety of new beverage products from Pepsi and name-brand beverages that fall under the corporation such as Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Naked Juice, a new and highly anticipated feature Pepsi hopes to provide Rider with is in the works.
The Dream Machine, one of the newest advancements in recycling technologies, is still in the beginning stages of its development and the possibility of Rider receiving one is not definite, but Shockley is “hopeful.”
According to greenbiz.com, the machine works as a recycling plant scaled down into a vending machine.
“The Dream Machine itself is like a vending machine in reverse: the user scans the recyclable’s barcode and places the plastic or aluminum bottle (no glass yet) in the proper chute,” said an article on the website.
“The machine then spits out a receipt with reward points good for travel or movie tickets or other benefits, such as coupons for Pepsi products.”
“It seems kind of complicated, but I might be biased because I like Coke,” O’Brien said.
Sophomore Norman Drayton thinks it would be a great addition to campus.
“I think that is a good idea to get people to recycle more,” he said. “People usually don’t care about recycling but now that there’s an incentive, hopefully it motivates a lot of people to recycle.”
Schokley is working towards getting this new feature on campus.
“In regards to the possible Dream Machine, it is currently in the works and we’ve expressed our desire to Pepsi to have one on campus,” Shockley said. “It was launched last year, so it’s still new for them and there are only six in the nation right now.”