There's been a bit of chatter on the article on the core reopening about the interesting new items available for purchase in the toilets. Opinions range from it bringing the tone of the venue down, to just being a bit of fun, to being a ploy to extract even more money from drunk, poor students.
The question we need to ask ourselves is what do we want from our venue? Perhaps after the "Sin City" series of events, including "pornstar parties", the new vending machines were exactly what the students were calling for.
The Union's ents programme appears to be bringing in customers from outside Imperial, with a notable increase in female faces on some nights. Our sexually-frustrated mostly-male student body may well enjoy their increased odds on these nights, with the appearance of an inflatable sheep certain to clinch the deal with the girls from the Royal College of Art.
The new vending machines will probably make a swift exit, but there are far more pressing matters to deal with. The toilets in the core section are covered in graffiti, while the ones in the east side of the building are closed after the cubicles were knocked over, following a series of incidents where hand-dryers were knocked off the wall. Where does this problem come from? Imperial students, or someone else? Students at other top London colleges have shown themselves capable of mindless destruction, but maybe we should set our standards a little higher.
Back to the question in hand: what do we want from our venue? Is the damage and "lowering the tone" worth the extra people coming through the doors, or should the Union aim to be more classy? A room packed full of drunk freshers will never be refined, but where should we draw the line of the culture we wish to promote?
It would be a shame if the newly refurbished building was damaged so quickly, with many more things "out off order".