Jones Dining Hall’s new cashless kiosks have sparked concerns over the efficiency of the initiative and whether student employees’ jobs will be at risk.
Chartwells, the company overseeing on-campus dining services, claims the kiosks will aid on-the-go students and improve the university’s commitment to enhancing technological usage. According to Root, workers will be stationed by the kiosks during the first few weeks to aid in the transition.
“It’s basically the way of the future,” Director of Auxilary Services John Root said. “There are a lot of restaurants in the retail world that are becoming more commonplace. It takes out the human interaction so to speak, so students can probably do more things. You can order quickly and pay at the kiosks.”
The kiosks debuted at the top of the semester, and though they may save some time, some students have had trouble with the kiosks and think they are an ineffective replacement. While using one of the kiosks, Twitter user @Hannah_white23 said she accidentally ordered 23 coffees.
Please uninstall the kiosks. Robots are not a replacement for humans.
Love, the girl who accidentally ordered 23 coffees.
— Hannah (@hannah_white23) January 24, 2019
Others, like international studies freshman Jake Mouer, thinks the kiosks haven’t impacted the day-to-day bustle in Jones and that they’re a little easier to use. He believes it is pretty much the same as it was before the kiosks were placed.
“I think that they’re easy to use,” Mouer said. “People aren’t used to it, so it’ll bother them if something goes wrong or if they mix up their orders.”
Dining Services informed student workers of the change and told all cashier workers they would be reassigned to different stations. At this time, The University Star is working on obtaining physical evidence to back this claim, as well as to see if any work hours would be scaled back.
Manuel Zapata, an international studies sophomore and a Jones Dining Hall employee, believes the new kiosk system might make the job easier.
“(Dining Services) explained that no jobs were in danger. No one is losing their job or anything. Only thing that is going to change is that the cashiers’ job will no longer be available,” Zapata said. “So now, they will be helping serve customers (and) the new system isn’t affecting anyone really.”
According to Root, the plan is to completely eliminate paper cash. This has caused some issues among students, like psychology freshman Kindalynn Ortega. She said going completely cashless is unfair to students who can only pay with cash.
“Not everyone has a card,” Ortega said. “Upperclassmen don’t have a meal plan and some people can’t have a debit card. It’s not fair to people who can only pay with cash.”
At the center of campus, Jones holds six food options for students, faculty and staff. At this point, there won’t be kiosks in any other dining hall, but if the initiative is successful, Texas State will look at adding them in Commons Dining Hall and Harris Dining Hall. For more information, visit Texas State’s Dining Services website.
The University Star will continue updating this story as information comes available.