To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Please bring back the milkshake machine

My favorite part of the C-Store has been removed. The milkshake machine used to be a source of joy for so many members of the Brandeis community. With its removal, and the loss of Currito, there is no place left on campus to enjoy milkshakes. Please bring back the milkshake machine and bring ice cream to campus again. 


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, milkshakes could be found in multiple places on campus. There was Currito, which had a small but delicious selection, including my favorite, the peanut butter milkshake (that I believe was called the “Jimmy Carter”). These milkshakes were delicious and decently-sized. While Swirl is good—everyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with their smoothie bowls—it only has smoothies, no milkshakes. Tres Habaneros and Swirl were a decent replacement for Currito, but there is still one crucial aspect missing: the milkshakes. 


In previous years, if you wanted more of a variety of flavors than Currito offered, there was the wondrous glory of the milkshake machine. With a wide selection of flavors—including some smoothies—the milkshake machine was one of my favorite resources on campus. It could be found on the right side of the C-Store, on the counter behind the prepackaged ice cream bars. You used to be able to pick your flavor out of a fridge located next to the machine, before customizing the thickness of your milkshake on the machine’s screen. From there, it would blend the shake and you would take it to the cashiers to check out. It was marvelous. 


I understand why the machine has been removed. With COVID-19 being so scary, it made sense for them to remove the machine last year. It involved touching a screen, something that could easily spread germs. It would be a pain to clean in between uses. But, I can’t help but wish that it would come back. 


Touch points are already prevalent this semester. Dining halls have resumed “normal,” pre-COVID-19-style eating. Sure, tables are now getting wiped in between uses, but it’s still a lot of touch points. Furthermore, classes are basically all in-person again, with students sitting at the desks all throughout the day. Those don’t seem to be getting cleaned between classes; instead there are wipes in the room so students can wipe down the desks on their own. I happen to love this system. I know for sure that my table and chair are clean before I put my stuff down because I’m the one who sanitized them. Why can’t we do something like this in the C-Store? 


Since the milkshake machine was (is?) touchscreen, it’s easy to see how germs could spread. But why not put hand sanitizer or a tub of wipes next to the machine? That way, users of the machine could clean it down before and/or after usage. Sure, there’s the matter of the machine blending all of the different drinks, but that is before we eat them, before we get a chance to spread our germs. The milkshakes would be made by people wearing masks. How is that so different from getting food from the dining hall? Perhaps there are more complications that I am unaware of, but to the average student, it seems pretty low-risk. 


Sure, there is ice cream on campus. There are the pints in the C-Store and the individually wrapped bars in both the dining hall and C-Store. But neither of these compares to the joy of the milkshake machine.

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