For the past 13 years, Fairfield’s annual Midnight Breakfast has served as both the climax of the University’s holiday celebrations, and as the ultimate stress-reliever for students in the midst of finals.
However, this year, the hotly-anticipated feast will be receiving a makeover, according to University Activities Programmer Reece Painter-Payne.
“It is never easy to change the process of a traditional event like Midnight Breakfast,” said Painter-Payne. “Our intentions are simply to improve the safety and environment of the event.”
Although the breakfast traditionally begins at 10 p.m., this year’s attendees will be divided between two seating times, the first beginning at 8:30 p.m., and the second at 10:30 p.m.
To reserve a place at one of the seating times, students are asked to pick up a free “Polar Pass” ticket in the Barone Campus Center.
Yet, students need not worry about getting shut out of both seatings according to Painter-Payne. “It should be noted that we are offering a total of more Polar Passes this year than people who attended last year,” said Painter-Payne.
“It is our expectation that everyone who wants to go to Midnight Breakfast should be able to attend,” Painter-Payne assured.
According to Painter-Payne, this new procedure will be implemented partially as a safety measure to accommodate the customary hordes of students clamoring to enter the Breakfast.
While the winding line outside of Barone has become a staple of the Breakfast, Painter-Payne explained that “in years past there was a safety concern with so many students lining up all at the same time on the stairs of the BCC.”
“There will be fewer people waiting or cutting in line,” predicted Painter-Payne of the new procedure, saying that this was a major source of frustration for students who completed online surveys reviewing the event in the past.
This year students will be asked to begin lining up in the Oak Room, entering the feast through the back door of the Dining Room and exiting out of the main entrance in the front, eliminating the typical traffic-jam on the BCC stairs.
Slowing the stream of students entering the Breakfast will also make it easier for the Sodexo workers tasked with supplying enough pancakes, bacon and eggs to satisfy students, according to Painter-Payne. “There was a concern for the ability of Sodexo to handle the demand for serving so many students all at the same time, especially given the growth of the first year class this year,” Painter-Payne said.
Multiple seating times are not the only change that students can expect to see at this year’s Breakfast. According to Painter-Payne students waiting in line can expect a “festive environment, with entertainment, passed snacks and holiday tunes.”