‘Twas the night before finals, when all through the halls, not a student was studying, not even an ounce. Exams to be given and papers soon due, but the smell of delicious pancakes tempt you.
More than 450 students tracked the wafts of syrup and bacon through the Student Center and into Thunderbird Circle Sunday night, snug among tables of friends for a much-needed study break before SUU’s official Study Day and subsequent Finals Week. And with the help of 70 faculty and staff volunteers who served as chefs, wait staff and dish patrol, the inaugural Pancake Study Break went off without a hitch, err, clatter.
“It is very satisfying to see some of my professors here. I’ll let them serve me pancakes and bacon versus the usual tests and homework any day. I like that change,” said junior business major Pratt Red, whose eyes twinkled as a covetous plate of bacon was placed before him.
In all, SUU employees served 135 pounds of bacon, mixed 100 pounds of pancake mix and served 110 gallons of drinks for the students in attendance at the all-you-can eat campus-sponsored late-night celebration for students anxious to marl the successful completion of fall semester.
During the three-hour study break, tables were packed and a line stretched down the hallway as students waited to be served by T-Bird employees; SUU President Michael Benson was even there, tickling the ivories in holiday tune.
“Not once did I hear a conversation about tests or papers, it has been great to see them relax and just be happy,” said President Benson of the evening spent in the company of SUU’s students. “I hope this becomes a tradition on our campus.”
This sentiment seemed to be the consensus among the faculty and staff volunteers who all happily worked to make the evening a success for the students who have worked hard in their classes all semester.
“It is great to see our students happy, especially with exams knocking on their doors,” said assistant football coach Demario Warren as he filled trays full of glasses of orange juice and chocolate milk. “This really seems like the perfect thing for these students tonight.”
Beyond the chance to blow off some steam before finals and consume epic proportions of favorite breakfast fares, however, the Pancake Study Break served a more poignant purpose. With sponsorships from SUUSA, SUU Student Services and Chartwells Food Service, food for the event was free, though the small $2 cover charge per student for the evening’s festivities brought in $925 to be donated to the Iron County Holiday Assistance Program.
Looking back on what he says will definitely become an annual event after reviewing last weekend’s successful inaugural run, Jerry Roeder, assistant vice president of Student Services, said he was pleased with the turnout, the enthusiasm among students to support a worthy cause and the opportunity for students and staffers to relax and bond after a long semester.
Said Roeder, “All our volunteers left with tired feet and a renewed appreciation for and commitment to the great camaraderie and community among our students, faculty and staff.”
In short, it was most definitely ‘all a good night’.