Students waited in long lines to get into this semester’s Midnight Breakfast buffet in Shafer Dining Hall on Monday night. The Student Government Association sponsored the event, which celebrates the end of the semester with unlimited free pancakes, eggs, bacon, smoothies and more.
Manager of sales and services for VCU Dining Services Tamara Highsmith said Midnight Breakfast has been an event at VCU for six years, and this semester’s breakfast served about 32,000 guests.
SGA was responsible for funding prizes and free meal vouchers to students without a dining plan while Dining Services and Aramark handled the cost of the event, Highsmith said. This semester’s event was themed “We bleed black and gold.”
“There will be an emphasis on black and gold, so you can show your Ram spirit especially with all the seniors graduating,” said current SGA President Vikhyath Veeramachaneni.
Some students took home prizes like free exam packages with blue books, scantrons and pencils. Custom Mason jars that said ‘We bleed black and gold,’ were also given away to students.
“The total cost of the event was estimated between $10,000 and $12,000,” Veeramachaneni said. About 1,200 free meal vouchers were given to students without a dining plan.
SGA’s newly elected president, rising senior mass communications major Brandon Day, said the event is meant to be a way for the students to relieve stress, have fun and for the SGA to connect with other students.
“I think SGA does a lot of serious stuff because that’s what we’re supposed to be doing,” Day said. “But this is kind of our night of the semester where we can hang out, have fun, eat good food, laugh and dance.”
Members of the VCU PD passed out donuts while some VCU faculty and staff helped hand out smoothies to students. Shafer also switched to disposable products for utensils, cups and plates for the evening.
Freshman biology student Abir Malik attended the event for the first time this semester and she said would have no problem if Shafer served unlimited breakfast more often.
“I thought it was really cool,” Malik said. “I didn’t know it was going to be as big as it was and if Shafer had food like this all the time, I wouldn’t mind going.”