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Aman Ghawanmeh and Arianne RodriguezStudents Aman Ghawanmeh and Arianne Rodriguez enjoy free cans of Coca-Cola after hugging a dispensing machine Thursday.

Students invited to have a Coke and a hug

Saying “a little bit of affection never hurt anybody,” Aman Ghawanmeh embraced the concept of giving a quick squeeze to a Coke machine in exchange for a can of the soft drink, Thursday in the CAW Student Centre.

Ghawanmeh spied the machine, bearing the text “Hug Me,” and told her friend Arianne Rodriguez she had seen videos online of such machines dispensing free Coca-Cola.

“Why not try it?” Ghawanmeh said. “We are fans of Coke, of free stuff and of hugging.”

That enthusiasm is the impetus behind the program, which sees similar machines touring campuses, said Richard McLaughlin, an account development manager for Coca-Cola Canada.

“It’s just a way to give something back to some of our most important customers,” he said. “People seem to like something for nothing, especially during this stressful exam time.”

Hundreds of students received cans of pop during the four hours the machine operated in its location adjacent to the Tim Hortons kiosk, said Dave McEwen, head of the Food Services department, which sponsored the giveaway.