Quinnipiac to install rapid test vending machine

Nicole McIsaac, News Editor

Quinnipiac University will introduce a personal protective equipment vending machine in Student Health Services on the Mount Carmel campus by Feb. 14. 

The machine will allow students to readily purchase rapid test kits if they have come in contact or show symptoms of COVID-19. Associate Vice President of Public Relations John Morgan said the university is still finalizing details on how students will utilize the machine. 

Peyton McKenzie

President Judy Olian announced the release of the vending machine during the Student Welcome Back Event on Jan. 27. During the event, Olian said the university wants to give the community a full-semester experience as long as students responsibly regulate their health. 

“It’s really you that will manage your health,” Olian said. “If you’re not feeling well, make sure that you withdraw from connections with other people until you rapid test. I think that with that social responsibility and accountability, we’ll be full swing in the classroom, outside the classroom and able to have all of these events as long as we continue to wear masks for a while.” 

Sophomore civil engineering major Jack Krut said he agrees with the decision to install the machine, but said the pricing of tests should be discussed with students. 

“It’s not a bad idea if the tests are free for students,” Krut said. “If they are looking to charge, I feel like students would be more likely to not use it or even go to a Walgreens or CVS and get the rapid tests there.”


Despite believing that the vending machine would be beneficial, Krut said it could additionally spark unreported cases within the Quinnipiac community. 

“I feel these kids might just take the test, find it’s positive and not tell anyone but their teachers so they can zoom in from their dorm,” Krut said. “Most kids do not want to have to move out to quarantine and are probably kind of traumatized from the quarantine dorms last year.” 

For other students, the idea of having sick individuals travel to the main campus to utilize the machine poses a greater risk of COVID-19 on campus. 

“If they only put one on the main campus, students on York Hill are at a disadvantage,” said Victoria Lorenz, a senior interactive design major. “If they are already feeling ill, traveling to main campus can be draining and put others at risk.”

Although she is worried about the spread of cases if the PPE machines don’t expand across the campuses, Lorenz said students will have easier accessibility to testing throughout the semester. 

“Being able to get a test whenever you feel you may need one put everyone at peace of mind,” Lorenz said. “I think it would also relieve a lot of stress from students because they wouldn’t have to worry about providing their own tests and can give their full attention to academics.” 

Lorenz said the convenience of using the machine would aid in creating more flexibility for students’ schedules during the semester. 

“In the past, to get a test you had to call the health center and wait for an appointment which could be challenging to align with your schedule,” Lorenz said. “This system would save time for both students and health center faculty.”

However, not everyone said they are in favor of the machine being placed on campus. 

Emma Conklin, a sophomore nursing major, said she believes the university could implement other testing procedures that would benefit the overall cost of testing on campus. 

“I think that the school could just implement a system where the student can pick up a rapid test from Student Health Services or have it delivered to their dorm,” Conkin said. “This would probably be more cost effective in my opinion.”

Despite believing students should have access to testing, Conklin said she fears that students could abuse the PPE vending machine by taking an ample amount of kits “without thinking of the needs of other students.”

“I think that students could be greedy and take as many tests as they want without a system that monitors who the tests are being distributed to,” Conklin said. “Also, rapid tests are not extremely accurate, so having such easy accessibility to rapid tests may defer people from getting a PCR test.”