The Great Simmons Vending Machine Quest

It's no secret that college food often SUCKS. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my fair share of delightful meals while on campus, (I’m a huge fan of nugget night) but after growing up for 18 years with parents who are above-average cooks, I have struggled to adapt to the dining hall food. Plus I’m a snacker! BUT the Simmons meal plan of swipes and point is still confusing for me and is not always snack friendly. So when I get the midday or midnight munchies, I turn to the old faithful vending machine.

However, I quickly discovered that not all vending machines on campus are created equal. So based on a scale from 1 to 5, I will be rating all of the vending machines on campus based on the factors of location, appearance, and snack options. (Side note--for this vending machine quest I will only be focusing on the traditional vending machine, the ice cream and beverage machines will not be included in my study. Though I will say I’m highly impressed with our to-go ice cream selection!)



Residential Campus Edition


1) Simmons Hall


Location: 4.5

Appearance: 5

Snack Options: 5

We start off with the Simmons Hall machine which if I may say so myself is a pretty good start for this quest! The location is splendid! Only steps away from the entrance and conveniently placed next to the main stairwell and the lounge. So whether you need a quick snack to munch on the way out to class or a bag of chips to share while watching a movie in the lounge it's placed perfectly for both a person on the go and the couch potato. Now as I have discovered, there are two types of vending machines at Simmons: the older ones that look bulky and come in black and the modern silver vending machine. Simmons has the later. But what really makes this machine special is the snack selection. Not only does it have all the classic candy bars, both fruit snacks and Swedish fish! The superior gummies! As well as my favorite type of Chex mix (savory)... BUT IT HAS PLANTAIN CHIPS!!! A crispy and classy snack yet savory--it is an excellent option for anyone looking to step up their snack game! 

Overall score for Simmons Hall Vending: 4.8


2) Morse Hall 


Location: 2

Appearance: 1.5

Snack Options: 2.5

The Morse Hall vending Machine was BY FAR THE MOST DISAPPOINTING! First off, it is one of the older bleak-looking vending machine models, which gives me war flashbacks from my kindergarten YMCA ballet class. Second, it is unreliable unless you always have quarters on you. When using vending machines I tend to use my Fenway Cash which is loaded on my id. I only ever carry coins if I’m doing laundry so the last few times I tried to get a snack at the morse machine it did not work at all! Overall the snacks are descent. I mean having 3 different types of M&M’s and 2 types of pop tarts is a slam dunk. But I’m a chip girl and I was underwhelmed. There is more chip flavors than just cheese and plain people! Location is okay it's tucked away across from the main lounge among the recycling. So the Morse Machine is a hit or miss depending on the day.

Overall score for Morse Hall Vending: 2


3) Mesick Hall



Location: 1.5

Appearance: 5

Snack Options: 4.9

You would not believe my excitement when I approached the Mesick Vending Machine for the first time! My most favorite snack in the world, my last supper, my kryptonite can only be found in this vending machine on campus: SALT AND VINEGAR CHIPS! I would have scored this machine way higher since it has my favorite snack as well as many other excellent chip options, plus two types of Welch's fruit snacks, but the vending room is so small I felt claustrophobic and could barely get a good picture of the machine. 

Overall score for Mesick Hall vending: 3.8


4) Evans Hall


Location: 1

Appearance: 4.9

Snack Options: 4

This machine was very difficult to find, it was located in the basement which is a hassle if you are trying to have a snake on the go. Plus I was a little creeped out since it was dark down there and I was the only person! Overall not a bad machine, good snacks, but terrible location.

Overall sore for Evans Hall vending:3.3


5) South Hall



Location: 1

Appearance: 4

Snack Options: 4

Again we have another basement vending machine in South. Which is good if your studying or watching a movie in a downstairs lounge, but not very helpful for anyone else. With it being a newer machine, it has an okay appearance score, but I had to lower it since a whole row of snacks is out. But with three different types of pop-tarts and Swedish fish who can complain. I only wish it was refilled sooner so I could get the full array the chip selection.

Overall Score for South Hall Vending: 3


6) Arnold Hall 



Location: 5

Appearance: 5

Snack Options: 4.5

Arnold Hall really gave everyone a ride for their money. Number one it’s the only vending machine that's actually in a kitchen--which makes sense to me. Arnhold also has one of the best lounges in my opinion. It's comfy with more than enough seating surrounded by bookshelves--my heaven. Since the kitchen is directly across, you have perfect access. Also, it has what I think is the best candy selection with Reeses, Skittles, Twizzlers, and Starbursts--it checks off everything on my sweet tooth. PLUS IT HAS PLANTAINS.

Overall score for Arnold Hall Vending: 4.8


7) Smith Hall



Location: 2.5

Appearance: 2.5

Snack Options: 2.5

Eh… Smith was nothing special

Overall score Smith Hall vending: 2.5


Before I move on to the last hall, I will admit I did not make it to all the vending machines on res campus. They were replacing the snacks in the sports center when I was there and I did not have the patience to wait till they were done, and at times I was too lazy or too nervous to go out exploring on campus.  

8) Dix Hall 

Location: 4.8

Appearance: 5

Snack Options: 4.5

I would go to Dix for snacks. As a salty girl, I loved the option of two different types of pop chips. Plus the excellent variety of candy. Right when I stepped through the doors there were signs pointing me in the direction of the machine which was SO HELPFUL. For most of my vending hunts, I had to walk around aimlessly until I stumbled upon a machine. I felt good vibes only in Dix and the snacks were easy to find and easy on the stomach!

Overall score for Dix vending: 4.7




  1. Tie for Simmons and Arnold Halls

  2. Dix

  3. Mesick

  4. Evans

  5. South

  6. Smith

  7. Morse


Final Thoughts: I have enjoyed my time diving into the snack world of Simmons. It allowed me to both keep up on my favorite hobby of snacking, as well as help me explore the residential campus. Perhaps next time I will do academic campus...I can only hope my study will help Simmons students make wiser choices on which vending machine to use.

Happy Snacking!