At a general senate meeting of the Fairfield University Student Association, Jeremy Kaler, associate director of the Office of Student Engagement, introduced the idea of restructuring and rebranding Fairfield University’s annual Midnight Breakfast event. The initial request for student feedback was brought up at the Oct. 3 meeting and was revisited at the Oct. 17 senate meeting.
Midnight Breakfast began in 2002 as an opportunity for faculty, staff and administrators to connect with students outside of the classroom and to celebrate the end of the semester. Faculty, staff and administrators traditionally serve students breakfast, such as pancakes and bacon, late at night on the final day of Fall semester classes to recognize students’ hard work while they prepare for exams.
Kaler explained that the school was facing various issues with sustaining this program. First, the cost has increased dramatically as a result of student behaviors. On more than one occasion, some of the students have arrived at the event intoxicated. Because of this, the school has had to increase the security personnel for the event in order to keep students safe.
Kaler added that faculty have been hesitant to volunteer so it has been mostly staff at this event, which is not in line with its original premise.
There is also a feeling among the staff at OSE that the event harms students’ interest. Kaler expressed how he felt bad planning this event because students would be intoxicated and interacting with senior administration and staff. He worried it would lead to a loss of opportunities in the future for students, which was also going against the original motivation for starting the tradition.
Students have also noticed this dilemma. Junior Collin Paris said, “It is not a good atmosphere for student-professor interactions.”
Kaler addressed the Fairfield University Student Association to solicit the stance of the students on what they think the event should be and to propose alternatives to the event.
The FUSA senate discussed the issue and offered two possible ideas. The first proposed alternative would be having the same event, but changing the time. “Having the event in the day time would curtail students drinking and making bad decisions.” said Noelle Guerrera ‘21, Speaker of the FUSA senate.
Paris supports this idea, “I believe the time should be changed and not the event itself.”
Another student proposed that the event should be continued, “I think the event should be kept because it is a good way to end the semester, and maybe make the event for seniors only, and another event can be organized for the other students.” said Bridget Muese ‘19.
Another suggestion proposed by the senate was splitting the Midnight Breakfast into a series of week-long events to help students as they prepare for final exams.
The FUSA Senate will be presenting their proposals to OSE at the end of this week. Any students who wish to voice an opinion on the subject are encouraged to come and speak during the public comment section of the next GSM on Oct. 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lower Level of the John A. Barone Campus Center.