BY ERIN HALBEISEN
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral
Every semester, most COD students and faculty pass by the Pollock Theatre and stop by the Solutions Kiosk to grab a snack, buy a warm beverage to help them stay awake or purchase school supplies so they can be prepared for class.
The Solutions Kiosk is a convenient student store that is run by students who wish to pursue a business career. The kiosk first opened in 2011 when Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Dr. Kelly Hall, applied for the a $5,000 grant to first open the business. “I was a professor of business at the time and I had an idea to create a class that would operate an actual business,” said Hall.
The Kiosk opens at the beginning of the semester until the end of the term from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. One semester working at the kiosk represents an entire business life-span where students can perform all the jobs one would execute in a real business environment. According to Hall, “Revenue from this business allows the activities to sustain themselves in the following semesters, and also provides scholarships for business majors.”
Students who work for the kiosk earn up to three credits in work experience, receive $450 per semester and as well as a grade for their efforts. They also find the business to be a fun and beneficial practice for real world experience. “I find it quite enjoyable; we have our occasional problems, but we work as a team to solve it,” said COD student Steven Ellet who has worked at the Kiosk for three semesters now. “Every semester has its bumps in the road, but we do not let that get us down.”
The prices at the Kiosk are lower than both the Bookstore and Beeps Cafe due to low cost and expenses. This is because they do not pay rent for the location or salaries to its workers. The Kiosk earned $30,000 in the first year of operation and since then their revenue has increased to $75,000 per semester. Today, it generates well over $100,000 per year. All of the profits are donated to COD minus the costs for the merchandise.
Some of the items sold at the Kiosk include chips, candy, fresh fruit, sandwiches, water, hot beverages like coffee and hot chocolate (in the winter) and school supplies. Jose Huerta is one of many students at COD who enjoys the convenience and low prices, “It benefits students and it is cheaper than the cafe and the bookstore,” said Huerta. A brand new Solutions Kiosk will be opening its doors soon at the COD Indio campus.
For more information you can follow the Kiosk Solutions on Facebook or Twitter @CODkiosksolutions.