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Sunday, March 03, 2024

Fickle lockboxes keep daily newspapers out of students' hands

Students looking for their daily newspaper have been playing guessing games with the lockboxes containing it since spring 2007, according to one Student Government official.

Student Body President Ryan Moseley said SG has not looked into the specific reasons for the machine malfunctions because the complaints have been infrequent.

"I really don't think it's a big deal," Moseley said. "When you buy these machines you're going to see this type of problem."

The automated lockboxes are home to several outside newspapers funded by SG, including The Gainesville Sun, USA Today and The New York Times.

According to SG record, SG pays a yearly average of about ,30,000 to provide students with the different newspaper options. The funds come from students' Activity and Service Fees.

There have been scattered reports about the boxes not working despite the amount of funding put into the project.

"The boxes weren't reading for certain students in high-traffic areas," said student Sen. Robert Agrusa, referring to areas such as those in Turlington Plaza and the Plaza of the Americas.

"I wouldn't say that there is any particular box that isn't working," Moseley said. "And the vendors are here every day to distribute the paper so when a problem arises, they have no problem fixing them."

Moseley advocates fixing the boxes rather than replacing them.

Agrusa, meanwhile, recommends that students who are having problems with the boxes get their Gator 1 Cards replaced.

Jerry Meriwether, assistant director of UF's Business Services Division, said students could get a free replacement card for technical malfunctions.

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