Joshua Judges Ruth: Students surprised soft serve machine actually serves


The soft serve ice cream machine on the first floor of Antonian Hall pleasantly surprised the student body and others on the evening of Friday, Jan. 25, when it suddenly began to work, serving lactose-free ice cream when prompted.

“It was truly miraculous,” remarked freshman Rachel Peterson. “I thought it was a sort of weird modern art piece, kind of like Christ the King Chapel or the facade of the JPII library. It just sat at the back of the caf all the time and never did anything. Half the time it wasn’t even there.”

When questioned, the soft serve machine emitted a strained whirring sound followed by a hiss and two clunks. However, the appliance was able to correspond with the Troubadour via its personal Instagram account (@frannysoftservemachine).

“It’s not easy being essential personnel at this university,” it said. “We still have to come in on snow days. It’s also nearly impossible to chase an intent across the piazza shrieking if you don’t have legs or a mouth. How am I able to go to a FOP with arms high and heart abandoned when I have neither arms nor a heart? Yeah, my life here is pretty thankless, made a little bit harder since nobody seemed to realize I was alive.”

It continued, “Of course, I am blessed both to be at this university and to have a job, but I’m disappointed that they immediately assumed I was a regular kitchen appliance when I arrived on campus. I actually intended to major in theology and catechetics and still plan to be a youth minister eventually. So I hope, all things considered, that it’s all right if I appease my wanderlust and occasionally go traveling.”

The machine went on to share some of the tremendous support it had received in just a few short weeks.

“I greatly appreciated the welcome extended to me by the vice president of Student Government, Kyle Aubert,” the machine shared. “He thanked me for my dedication to the student body, and we briefly discussed appliance rights on campus. Ronda McGinnis, who works at Antonian Hall, is one of my greatest supporters. She has expressed interest in coming with me on several of my excursions, but alas, ‘someone has to swipe people in in the morning.’ Apparently, she cares even more about the student body than I do.”

It remains unclear how frequently the soft serve machine leaves campus, how long it will remain in service and how it obtained sentience. Parkhurst was unavailable for comment.

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