Mount ‘Caramel’: Quinnipiac installs ice cream machine

Krystal Miller, Staff Writer

Quinnipiac University students wanted a sweet new treat to indulge in, so the Bobcat Den on the Mount Carmel campus now includes a new soft serve ice cream machine.

It includes vanilla, chocolate and swirl flavor options. Students can also choose from a variety of topping options including hot fudge, caramel, sprinkles, Oreos, mini chocolate chips, whipped cream and cherries. The hours are the same as the Bobcat Den, 2 -11 p.m. on weekdays, 4 p.m. to midnight on weekends, but there have been instances where the machine has run out of soft serve earlier in the night. Dining has been working on having more people to stock more ice cream.

Tom Ellett, chief experience officer, said the soft serve machine is a way to add variety to dining and provide a good late- night option.

“I think the main benefit is that the students asked for something, and we were able to deliver it,” Ellett said.

Illustration by (Amanda Riha)

Megan Carpenter, a sophomore nursing major and active member of the Sophomore Advisory Board and Dining Services Advisory Board, said the idea was originally pitched during the fall 2021 semester.

“We have a few good ice cream places off-campus, but I really wanted one conveniently on campus,” Carpenter said.

The Dining Service Advisory Board and the First-Year and Sophomore Advisory Boards make decisions to improve the dining services on campus. The Dining Service Advisory Board includes Ellett, dining staff and students. The other advisory boards include Ellett and students.

Carpenter said it would be a great addition to have a soft serve machine on the York Hill campus and a sundae bar in the future.

“I had noticed almost every other college had one, and we were missing out,” Carpenter said. “Every week I see our dining experience getting better, so this was definitely a step we needed to take.”

Ellett said purchasing the machine was difficult due to supply chain issues. Another problem was having electrical capability in an area students could easily access, which prevented the machine from being put in the Bobcat Den sooner. Despite the supply chain issues with obtaining the machine, Ellett said he does not foresee any challenges with accessing dairy products for the ice cream.

Sheralyn Burke, a sophomore health science major, said she looks forward to getting soft serve after a long day of classes. She liked how there was a good amount of toppings to choose from.

“I’m really glad that the school put in a soft serve machine,” Burke said. “I feel like sometimes the (Bobcat Den) is completely out of ice cream, so now I can actually get soft serve instead.”

The machine is run by a dining hall employee, but Burke wishes it was self-serve.

Being on York Hill campus next year, she said it would be more convenient for a soft serve machine there as well, considering she wouldn’t drive to Mount Carmel campus just to get ice cream.

Kate Hanley, a third-year 3+3 physical therapy major, felt the money spent on the machine could’ve been used for other purposes on campus.

“My roommate is in the nursing program and they made them buy their own needles and stuff, so I think that would be a better expense than the ice cream machine,” Hanley said.

Hanley said the soft serve machine does not benefit her personally as she is lactose intolerant. Other students with dairy allergies would need accommodations for the soft serve.

Other students weren’t aware of the soft serve machine being in the Bobcat Den.

“I honestly didn’t know there was a soft serve machine,” said Henry Bonilla, a sophomore health studies major. “I think it’s pretty cool, I think maybe they could’ve waited until after the cold season was over, but I think it’s still a good idea. It is probably going to be more popular once the weather starts to get warmer.”

Off-campus students are also excited for the new addition to the Bobcat Den despite not living on campus.

“I think that’s a great idea,” said Maeve Caine, a senior health science major. “I live off campus so I didn’t know that was a thing, that’s amazing.”