Though the dining halls at Western Washington University are back to mostly full operation this school year, there has been one dining hall staple noticeably missing from the Fairhaven Commons: the soft-serve ice cream machine.
Since the beginning of fall quarter, the soft-serve machine in Fairhaven Commons has had a small and plain “Out of Order” sign on it.
“The machine that is located in Fairhaven is currently not working and is being replaced,” said Timothy McLaughlin, the food service director at Fairhaven Commons. “The replacement has been ordered.”
A number of South Campus residents and others who regularly go to the Fairhaven Commons dining hall have expressed their displeasure with the situation.
“It’s super inconvenient to not have the option available and for the next ice cream machine to be an entire residence area away,” said first-year Nina Hahn, a Fairhaven Complex resident.
Although there is a replacement on the way, it will be a while before the new machine arrives.
“Due to supply chain issues the machine is 26 weeks out,” McLaughlin said. “We are currently searching for a temporary replacement.”
Many residents have gotten anxious waiting for the new machine to arrive.
“It would make the whole experience of being stressed out better,” said fourth-year Brooklyn Engstrom, a resident advisor in Fairhaven. “It would go with all the desserts that they already have available. I am so upset.”
While waiting for the new machine to arrive, South Campus residents had to venture northward to the Ridgeway Commons or the Viking Commons in search of soft-serve.
“It is a massive bummer, especially considering the other ice cream machines around the halls seem to work perfectly,” said first-year Connor Costello, a Fairhaven Complex resident.
Costello said the slowness with fixing the machine might be indicative of other issues with campus maintenance.
“It’s kind of a trend I’ve noticed around Western,” he said. “Especially at Fairhaven. Repairs, cleanups, whatever, seem to come especially slow.”
McLaughlin said that the dining hall staff has come up with a temporary solution to provide ice cream products to students in the meanwhile.
“We are currently searching for a temporary replacement,” McLaughlin said. “If we can’t find a replacement we are going to provide ice cream novelty items in the interim.”
These replacement items include ice cream products such as fudge bars and ice cream sandwiches.
Despite the news that the new machine may not arrive for at least a few more months, some residents hold out hope that they will soon have ice cream again.
“All I want is the ice cream machine back,” Engstrom said. “Honestly, that’s all I want for Christmas.”
Sam Pearce is a third-year Journalism and Creative Writing double major at WWU. He writes for Campus Life at The Front. He also enjoys pop music, obscenely long sci-fi/fantasy novels, and kaiju movies from the 90s. You can contact him via email email@example.com.