By Nick Sisti
In mid-October 2017, County College of Morris will be implementing the services of Rockbot, a “jukebox” app which allows patrons of a given public space to influence the soundtrack by requesting songs from their smartphones and voting on the next track to be played. Since its inception in 2013, Rockbot has been used by companies such as McDonald’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, GAP, and Jetblue.
Tentatively, the service will be available in the Cohen Café and LRC Café which serves Starbucks products.
The addition of the jukebox app is the latest in a string of CCM cafeteria renovations, most of which culminated in late August. Cohen Hall Café’s Quiznos and Chickendipity have been replaced with a new “Create” section by Chartwells, and the food service area of the student center has been removed in favor of vending machines filled with fresh food.
According to Rockbot’s website, the company aims to “change the way businesses everywhere control their soundtracks and engage their guests.” Students will be able to request tracks from a preselected list of songs, and they even have the ability to create playlists of their favorite songs which the app automatically requests whenever they walk into a Rockbot enabled space.
While many students are excited to be able to have a say in the lunchtime playlist, some feel that the school cafeteria environment doesn’t necessarily require a soundtrack.
“I think it can be a bit disruptive,” said Hope Motzenbecker, a communication major at CCM. “If I’m at an actual restaurant, I think the music is part of the ambience. If it’s a Mexican restaurant, for example, you’d expect to hear Mexican music. It adds to the overall vibe. But I’m not sure if the cafeteria atmosphere needs music.”
For others, the volume of the music either makes or breaks the equation.
“The only time I notice the music is when I’m in the LRC café,” said Valentina Marmolejo, a communication major at CCM. “I used to do a lot of my work there my first year here, but now I feel like because the music is being incorporated it’s becoming more of a hangout place instead of a work place.”
Despite these grievances, Marmolejo remains quite fond of certain aspects of the soundtrack, particularly Train’s 2001 hit “Drops of Jupiter.”
“It’s a bop,” Marmolejo said.
In regards to the recent food option alterations, some students appreciate the added personalization.
“I like how customizable the Create options are,” said Alexa Metro, a broadcasting major at CCM. “It’s so much more personalized than other create-your-own places. The amount of combinations you can put together is crazy.”
However, others haven’t been happy with the administration rustling things up.
“Personally, I’m not a fan of the changes,” said Shane Sayre, a liberal arts major at CCM. “I usually hang out in the ping pong room, so it’s kind of a bummer that they took out a ton of the options in the student center café. Plus, I can’t even find the things they had there at the Cohen Café now. There’s no pizza.”