Iowa State University

Warren Madden, Business and Finance, (515) 294-6162
MaryJo Mertens, Memorial Union, (515) 294-2300
John Anderson, University Relations, (515) 294-6136


AMES, Iowa -- The Memorial Union has been selected to provide vending services on the Iowa State University campus, beginning around July 1. The Memorial Union, a private non- profit corporation, submitted one of five service bids received for the vending contract. Criteria in the decision included operational competence, service, product quality, ability to offer new machines and financial considerations, said Warren Madden, vice president for business and finance.

The Memorial Union's proposal for vending service on campus includes a full-service McDonald's restaurant in the Hub, more product variety in the vending machines, new food and drink machines across campus, card readers on an estimated 85 percent of the vending machines so patrons can use their ISU debit cards, a food cart in the College of Design building and a convenience store in the College of Veterinary Medicine complex.

Madden said that as in the past, prices are subject to university approval. "The change should not result in price increases, but we do expect to have a broader and fresher selection of products than has existed in the past," he said.

Another component that helped the Memorial Union secure the contract is its proposal to designate some vending commissions for student scholarships. The scholarship funds will be in addition to vending commissions college student councils and departments receive based on student and staff numbers. MaryJo Mertens, director of the Memorial Union, estimated the scholarship fund will reach $15,000 to $18,000 the first year, and more in subsequent years.

"We know the university is looking for scholarship dollars, and we thought this was a unique idea for giving back to students what they put into those machines every day," Mertens said.

The university anticipates vending service in the Hub will cease in early June so utility and sewer upgrades and construction can begin. Iowa State has stipulated that central campus not become a commercial zone, so the McDonald's golden arches won't be prominent on the exterior of the Hub. When completed, McDonald's will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There still will be some vending machines at the Hub to service customers on evenings, weekends and holidays.

The university anticipates that all components of the new service contract will be operational by the time fall semester begins Aug. 26.

University officials acknowledged the many years of vending service provided by TAVCO, an Ames company. TAVCO vending machines and vending services have been on campus for several decades.

Iowa State's vending contract with the Memorial Union is for five years and contains an option to renew for three more years.

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Diana Pounds, University Relations,
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Re vised 5/20/96