By Ronny Oleary, Columnist
Every student has times when they are either stressed out or very tired. During these occasions, I am guessing that many students reach for a nice cup of coffee. Some of us may even drink coffee everyday to maintain alertness. Considering this, would it not be nice if coffee machines were allowed in the dorms? Fortunately, Residential Programs has been talking about such a policy. I talked to Leonard Jones, the director of Residential Programs, in order to get specific information.
No plans are definite yet. The university currently does not allow coffee machines because they are a fire hazard. In addition, the machines could blow a fuse if they are left on too long. "The wiring in the building is forty years old," said Jones. "The machines use a lot of electricity, and the wiring cannot support it." However, students have been asking since last spring whether coffee machines could be used in the dorms. I asked Mr. Jones if there were types of coffee machines that do not use as much power. He said that there are such machines, and the university is meeting with experts to determine whether such machines would be safe. They will need to make sure that they will not cause fires or overwhelm a building's power supply.
The university is also trying to work out possible alternatives if this plan does not work out. Finally, they are meeting with the Office of Student Leadership and Activities in order to get their opinions. All of the students I talked to said that it would be a good idea because it would benefit the students economically. This is certainly true. A small can of coffee at Stop & Shop costs $5.99. Each can may yield up to 90 6-ounce cups of coffee. This would supply a daily drinker with almost enough coffee for a semester. To get the same amount of coffee at the student center, a person would need to spend about $84.
However, we can all agree that safety is the most important factor when considering this issue. Therefore, if certain coffee machines turn out to be safe, they should be allowed in the dorms. In addition to being economically beneficial, it would provide students with a way of obtaining an energy boost during all-night study sessions. Many students may still buy coffee from campus since making coffee takes time. However, we should have the option of making our own coffee.