Midnight Breakfast is one of the biggest holiday events on Fairfield University’s campus; students of all grades come together to celebrate the holiday season with their friends. This past week, on Monday, Dec. 11, the Office of Student Engagement hosted its 2017 Midnight Breakfast in the Oak and Dogwood Rooms of the Barone Campus Center.
Midnight Breakfast sported some new changes this year. A change in venue allowed for more attendees; however, the attendance was around the same as last year, according to Wilson. Additionally, a group of live Christmas carolers, the Connecticut Yuletide Carolers, were present in place of a DJ. Whether or not the carolers will return next year for an encore is dependent on student feedback, but Assistant Director Colleen Wilson was optimistic, “The students that attended the event were dancing and singing along with the carolers — we were happy with the response.”
Unfortunately, the replacement of the DJ with Carolers was unpopular with some students, “We kept waiting for some surprise fun Carolers/Glee Club to pop out, but the solo old-timey caroler remained,” said Abby Furfaro ‘20.
According to Wilson, the intermittent playing of Christmas music in place of the carolers was a collective decision made to help wrap things up at the end of each time slot, as well as provide an opportunity for the carolers to rest their voices.
One goal for Midnight Breakfast was to provide students with a bit of fun during the stressful last few weeks of the semester. Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs James Fitzpatrick ‘70 reported that, “All in all, I think it was a successful exam break opportunity.” Fitzpatrick worked with the food providers for this year’s event and was one of the staff members who permitted the inclusion of a buffet line instead of students being served their food directly at their tables as in years prior.
However, the most important aspect of an event like Midnight Breakfast is whether or not the students enjoyed themselves; this year, student reactions produced lackluster reviews. “It lacked excitement. The food is the same thing we have every morning and there was nothing that made me want to stay for the whole time and come back next year,” said Madison Roberts ’19.
Some students felt that the event was not exciting enough compared to Midnight Breakfasts of the past, “It was our last day of classes, we were supposed to celebrate, not awkwardly sit at a table while hearing a single man sing ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” said Emily Michelini ’20.
Although the carolers seem to be unpopular with student attendees, the staff is always looking to make improvements to their events. Wilson commented, “We will make decisions about next year’s music based on our students’ feedback, when it is time to start planning next year’s event.”