Photos by Maxine Pollock

Students on our campus come from all over the world, but there is one thing that unites us. It’s not a hatred for math or the Reims nightlife, but rather our common reliance on a certain stimulant… caffeine. Especially during midterm season when morale is low and too many hours have been spent in the library, the dopamine rush of a hot coffee or a chilled Red Bull running through your veins is just enough to keep us going. 

When the words on our computer screens start to blur together and our eyes grow heavy, we shouldn’t have to think twice about making the trip to the cafeteria to get a warm cup of coffee, however, our coffee vending machines have failed to ensure that us students are provided with a reliable source of energy. We can all resonate with the crushing pain felt when “gobelets vide” flashes on the tiny screen after a long night of burning the midnight oil or when the tiny blue and white cup is filled with dirty water and a mini popsicle stick instead of your cappuccino noisette. How do we allow these atrocities to continue? I know silent anger brews in every one of us when we are forced to turn away, dejected, exhausted, and embarrassed after the machine rejects your Apple Pay for the third time. We deserve better.

The liquid gold nestled within paper walls is a lifeline for students on campus, so it shouldn’t be considered a victory everytime a trip to the coffee vending machines is successful. With so much uncertainty in our lives, asking for a reliable source of coffee really isn’t a crazy request. In fact, better maintenance of these machines would have a multitude of benefits for student life and campus culture.

Empirical data has proven a direct link between higher consumption of caffeine and increased productivity. When fueled by café caramels, students are more likely to finish their work more efficiently. Not only does this boost their self-perception and reduce stress levels, but it also allows students to spend less time in the crowded library, freeing up chairs for the cycle to continue among other eager students armed with vanilla cappuccinos. A world with properly functioning coffee machines is an energized world with happier and more productive students which is why it is absolutely essential that our school prioritizes the upkeep of these vital drivers of academic excellence.

I suppose when you’re paying €0.50 for a coffee, you can only expect so much, but in true French fashion, the Sciences Pistes are demanding better, with force if necessary. Is a school-wide strike imminent? Will we wake up to a blocage of the entrance once more? Only time will tell… 

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