Broken card machines anger students

The number of broken Rattler-card machines around campus frustrates many students who depend on them daily.

And the inconvenience is beginning to hit them right where it hurts the most: their bellies.

“We can’t expect a payment method from the students” when the machines are delayed, said Terry Woodard, general manager of Sodexho Campus Services. Sodexho products serve students similar to how a credit card machine does.

Signs posted on the doors of the Orange Room stating ‘No Service for Rattler cards’ have directed students elsewhere, regardless of their food preferences and schedules. Many students plan for each hour of the day, and deviations can sometimes cause schedule conflicts.

“Where’s my money going?” said Addavia Montsho, 19, a freshman nursing student from Sumter, S.C. “I’m paying for the bill on my card, and I can’t even eat where I want to.”

Although some students may agree with Montsho, many say they tend to select a different place to eat and hope future circumstances improve.

The Orange Room deals with more of these problems because of its location. It is the farthest away of all Rattler card machines from the motherboard housed in the Omni Access Panel Room. The control room is behind the Rattler Card Office on the lower level of the Student Services Center, located at the intersection of Wahnish Way and Gamble Drive.

Whenever there is a problem, Orange Room employees telephone employees at the Rattler Card Office for assistance.

“When the system is down, we can see that it is down in the control room, and a correction to the problem is usually done in a timely manner,” said Helen Eason, coordinator and manager of the Rattler Card Office.

“It’s like when you have an old car and need some new parts to maintain its usage, Eason said. “Chances are you can’t buy the parts for it.” He referred to the inability to buy new parts from the manufacturer for the 10-year-old system. “After a while, it is going to die on you. Eventually, you have to get a totally brand new car,” he said.

In a decade of the University using the same equipment, parts have broken and simply worn out. Some of the needed parts are not around anymore.

But the University is working to fix the problem. Officials say they are in the process of getting a new system. But for now, glitches must be fixed as often as needed. “We want new stuff so we can make it more convenient for (students),” Eason said, “but time is needed because there is a lot of transition in terms of management.”