Corp Machinery on the Fritz
Published: Friday, January 24, 2014
Updated: Friday, January 24, 2014 02:01
In Corp locations across campus, various mechanical issues have caused both customer frustration and a renewed emphasis on preventative maintenance as Students of Georgetown, Inc. attempts to deal with the recent onslaught of equipment failures.
Since the academic year started, mechanical issues have arisen in Corp locations throughout campus. Mechanical problems included a broken toaster in Uncommon Grounds, problems with the espresso machine in Midnight MUG and difficulty with refrigerators in Vital Vittles.
However, according to a joint email statement made by Corp Chief Executive Officer Lizzy MacGill (COL ’14), Chief Financial Officer Matthew Oswald (COL ’14) and Chief Operating Officer Rashaad Eshack (SFS ’14), and sent by Oswald, the equipment malfunction is not unusual.
“To our knowledge, the number of mechanical issues in the company has not changed significantly from any past year,” Oswald wrote.
Recent issues are primarily due to the age of the machines, as The Corp attempts to keep the machines until their functionality is noticeably diminished.
“As long as a piece of equipment is able to meet our customers’ needs and our needs, we do our best to keep using it,” Oswald wrote. “Age of the machines is often a primary cause of the mechanical problems we experience. We are constantly looking for new ways to care for our equipment and prolong the life of each machine, but must deal with the reality that no machine will last forever.”
The Corp is addressing the technical issues by implementing preventative measures to combat future wear on the equipment.
“We are gradually entering into preventative maintenance contracts with our [outside] service technicians for certain pieces of equipment. These contracts include regular checkups to discover and remedy mechanical problems before they impact the service we provide to our customers,” Oswald wrote.
The statement also addressed the amount of time needed to repair machines suffering from mechanical issues.
“We try to minimize any downtime when certain products may be unavailable due to equipment malfunction. However, our experience has shown that more time spent researching and selecting better equipment pays off by resulting in less frequent or less severe periods of downtime,” Oswald wrote.
Although some students were upset by the lack of access to the products they wanted, it only temporarily deterred them from frequenting The Corp locations.
“When the Uncommon Grounds machines weren’t working, I didn’t go for a few days, but then eventually the drinks brought me back,” Elizabeth McCurdy (COL ’17) said.
Frequent customers of The Corp locations suffered from the ongoing lack of functionality of various machines.
“The Uncommon Grounds bagel toaster last semester was broken for I’d say, probably two to three weeks, and that was kind of annoying because I always get bagels there,” Patrick Bylis (COL ’17) said.
However, students were sympathetic to the struggle of The Corp.
“It’s a student-run organization, so I’m willing to cut them some slack. It’s not that big of a deal,” Bylis said.
Despite student understanding, the amount of machines in need of repairs raised concerns.
“I think obviously it is something that eventually will happen at any business because you are using some sort of machine or technology, but it has been happening an odd amount, so it just makes me wonder about the care they take with maintaining their machines,” McCurdy said.
Director of Midnight Mug Elise Mixon (COL ’15) deferred comment to MacGill, Eshack and Oswald, while MUG Director Sam Rodman (MSB ’15) declined to comment. Vital Vittles Director Conor McNulty (COL ’14), Director of Hoya Snaxa Nick Baker (COL ’15) and Director of Uncommon Grounds Kyle O’Donnell (COL ’14) did not respond to requests for comment.