Midnight Breakfast 2014 Kicks Off Finals Week
“I don’t want a lot for Christmas— there is just one thing I need...”
Every year, it doesn’t take many chords of Mariah Carey’s infamous “All I want for Christmas” before Fairfield University students jump out of their seats and begin to dance. Although the 13th annual Midnight Breakfast in Barone Campus Center Monday night was filled with laughter, the enjoyment of friends, and a carefree attitude because classes were finally over, most students agreed that the party really began when this song came on.
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Midnight Breakfast is a Fairfield tradition that “turns the tables” on faculty-student interaction. Throughout the semester, busy students are instructed by their teachers and are given exams, projects, and homework throughout the semester. But at the end of the fall semester, right before exams, students are encouraged to relax and let faculty, administrators, and staff serve them while they relish the beginning of holiday festivities.
Midnight Breakfast helps raise students’ morale and offers the opportunity to enjoy one final festive moment before they embark on final exams.
“It was great to be in a position to serve the students—to switch roles, as it were,” said Fr. Mark Scalese, S.J., associate professor in the Visual Arts Department, who did his part in serving and clearing tables. “But it was even better to see such spirit among them as they prepare for exams and the coming winter break. Their sheer joy at being able to celebrate and dance to Christmas music was infectious.” (Fr. Scalese shot his own video of the scene!)
Fr. Scalese was one of more than 60 faculty and staff volunteers who served the 1,300 students in attendance. There were also 15 students from Fairfield@Night (F@N), who helped prep and decorate, according to Reece Painter-Payne, program coordinator for Midnight Breakfast 2014. “Jay DeGioia was instrumental from the Sodexo side of things, and John Ritchie was very involved in terms of G-force and the Public Safety presence,” she said.
This was the last Midnight Breakfast for seniors, and they soaked up every moment.
“Midnight Breakfast was good,” said Elizabeth Morena ’15. “It’s a highlight because it’s such a happy and festive event. I like that I can get together with all of my friends and the majority of the senior class,” said Morena. “Singing and dancing to ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ was, and has always been, a highlight of my night.”
For the first time, there were two Midnight Breakfast seatings—at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Students picked up “Polar Passes,” with priority given to seniors. At first there were mixed feelings about having two events, but overall everyone was happy with the outcome. “I liked the split times because the room was not as crowded as previous years,” said Belinda Nelson ’16. “Both times worked perfectly.”
“I think that all of the faculty, staff, and administration who supported and organized the event should be commended on their commitment to making #MNB14 such a success,” said Tyler McClain, associate director of Leadership & Professional Development.
Story contributed by Allanah Dykes ’16