UNF’s ‘Right Ice Machine’ demystified

Ethan Leckie, Volunteer Reporter

Lurking in the back of the Osprey Café, there sits a machine— an ice machine. Uttering its name will make even the longest-tenured students tremble in fear. From Aug. to early Oct., it would dispense no ice. The machine’s ineptitude quickly drew the attention of many a hungry student, culminating in the creation of the parody Instagram account @unf_right_ice_machine.

Now that it is over, the UNF community is left to pick up the pieces of how this could have happened. Although this event was brief, it sent shockwaves throughout the entire world, if one would consider the 1,300 acres of UNF to be the entirety of the globe. This chapter in school history would be forever known as the saga of the Right Ice Machine.

Here it sits, in all its infamous glory: the right ice machine in the Osprey Cafe. Who knew that this one restaurant appliance would spark so much commotion? Although it is now fully functional, its impact on UNF will never be forgotten. 

Photo courtesy of Rylan Monge.

So, how did this brief yet hilarious chapter of UNF history come to an end? Dennis Negrin, Director of Marketing and Guest Experience for UNF Dining Services, outlines the process of repairing restaurant equipment. First, after management is made aware of an issue, a work order is submitted to the university. Next, the restaurant repair company is contacted and schedules a time to examine the broken equipment and determine what needs fixing. Depending on the issue, repairs are either done on-site or may take longer due to the need to order the necessary parts to mend the equipment. Mr. Negrin also noted that, due to supply and labor shortages within repair companies, turnaround times can be affected, resulting in longer than usual wait times for machines to be fixed.

To make light of the situation, an Instagram account was created: @unf_right_ice_machine. The account would sarcastically update its followers on whether the machine in question would dispense any ice. Its creator, Rylan Monge, a Freshman and Hicks Honors College student at UNF, explained, “I created [@unf_right_ice_machine] because I thought it was interesting that this one particular ice machine in the [Osprey Café] didn’t have any ice every time we tried using it.” He added, “I just thought it would be funny to make this pointless updates account that just posts the same thing every day.” 

As the ice machine was broken, it could be assumed that Rylan also made the account to shed light on the problems associated with the equipment in question. However, when asked if he thought UNF Dining Services would ever address the issue, he was not optimistic. “I was only [running the account] for a joke. I wasn’t expecting [the right ice machine] to be fixed. I just thought that it would be a long-running joke,” he stated. 

Screenshot by Carter Mudgett.

The following and support generated from the account were quite surprising to Monge. “I thought that a few of my friends would see it, and that that would be it. But it grew, kept growing, and is still growing- [UNF] students from all different grades, even people from towns hundreds of miles away are following the account for some reason I cannot explain,” he said. After the inevitable fixing of the right ice machine, he was slightly disappointed. Begrudgingly, he admits, “I was a little sad [when the machine was fixed]. The joke didn’t last as long as I was thinking it would, but all things come to an end. When one door closes, another door opens so we’re going to be off to bigger and better things.”

According to him, UNF Dining services may have heard about his account, “in a roundabout way,” per Rylan. A woman following the account claimed that her husband was a technician working with UNF Dining Services. One day, she left a comment on one of the posts announcing that the ice machine was examined and parts for it were ordered. The next day, it was fixed. “Somehow they [UNF Dining Services] did end up finding it [@unf_right_ice_machine],” Monge summarized.    

For Rylan, the funniest moment while running @unf_right_ice_machine was how he structured his posts. “I knew if I just posted the same thing every day it would be boring. So, I would do things like write ‘ICE!’ in bright green text, and then in really small text next to it, I would say, ‘there is none,’ or, ‘there is no ice’ in order to keep people entertained. It was funny- it brought joy to me, and I know it brought joy to other people,” he described. 

To keep his following entertained, Rylan would falsely proclaim that the right ice machine was dispensing ice. However, in a much smaller text, he would inform followers that there was, in fact, no ice to be found. Screenshot by Carter Mudgett.

As of writing this article, Monge is working on his next project, one that he claims, “has some serious support to it.” He looks towards the future optimistically, saying, “This [@unf_right_ice_machine] was only my first college endeavor. I want to leave my mark on this school, not in a bad way, but I’d like to be remembered. So, there will definitely be more things in the future.” It is safe to say that, whatever shenanigans he may have up his sleeve in the future, they are sure to entertain the UNF community.

On Oct. 1st, 2021, Rylan Monge via @unf_right_ice_machine announced that the infamous piece of equipment in the Osprey Cafe was dispensing ice. Screenshot by Carter Mudgett.

Even though this account is no longer in service, students should not be dismayed that it is over, but be glad that it happened. 


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