Posted Friday, Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m.
Students in midst of studying for finals got a break Wednesday night, as faculty members and staff served them an assortment of free food at Midnight Breakfast.
The biannual breakfast offered eggs, French toast, pastries, fried potatoes and fruit to the more than 2,000 attendees. Themed “Camp GW,” the event also featured a tug-of-war, potato sack races, musical performances and a pie-eating contest throughout the Marvin Center.
“People are hungry and need to be fed,” said Robert Chernak, senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services. “Students always like free food.”
The Midnight Breakfast cost the Student Activities Center between $6,000 and $8,000, said Helen Cannaday, assistant vice president for SASS.
Several J Street stations were turned into breakfast venues, and volunteers happily served students. University Police Chief Dolores Stafford, among others, doled out food to long lines of hungry students.
Professor of mathematics Muril Gupta said even though he has been at the University for 25 years, this is the first Midnight Breakfast for which he has volunteered. Gupta said he received a letter inviting him to participate.
“This year, for some reason, I said all right,” Gupta said.
About 20 faculty and 35 staff members volunteered to serve.
“It’s free food, and I’m out of points,” junior Sara Marceline said.
Students could also get their pictures taken with a student dressed in a bear suit at a mock campsite in the Great Hall – complete with logs and a fire made of reflective material. An arts and crafts station was set up so students could decorate picture frames with stickers and paint.
Midnight Breakfast was co-sponsored by the Student Alliance for Israel, Black Student Union and Project HEALTH, chosen by application earlier this year. Each group was responsible for a different aspect of the event.
Lauren Marks, co-president of the Student Alliance for Israel, said her group helped with the tug-of-war, potato sack races and pie-eating contest in the Hippodrome.
Freshman Curtis Raye, who participated in the pie-eating contest, said although he may have vomited through his nose, “It was worth it.”
Over shouts of “Curtis, you’re my hero!” Raye explained that there was “no cheating involved, just good clean eating.”
The Black Student Union was responsible for the evening’s entertainment – a talent showcase and hip-hop trivia competition.
Stephen Harris, public relations director for the organization, said the group planned the event because “every camp has some kind of talent show.”
Midnight Breakfast is part of the Student Activities Center’s “Stress- Free Zone.” Other events included free classes at the Health and Wellness Center and free food around campus.
Angela Kaul, staff counselor of the University Counseling Center, said that stress “peaks this time of year.” She urged students to “take breaks and take care of your body.”