Last night, hungry and overworked students lined up in the middle of the night to enter Bates Dining Hall for free food. As in years past, the line stretched all the way up Bates Hill. Fortunately, and unlike last fall semester’s Midnight Breakfast, it was not raining or too cold. At precisely 11 p.m., when the doors finally opened to the anxious students, people grabbed plates, dashed for available tables, or found open spaces on the floor to sit and eat with their friends. Midnight Breakfast proved to be, yet again, a popular event for the sponsoring group, Sarah Lawrence Activities Council (SLAC).
The night had food, music, and prizes. Belle Edeoga’s (’20), SLAC traditions co-chair passed out lollypops, some having the winning mark of a black dot and Katrina Walker (’17), the other co-chair of SLAC traditions, manned the prize table that was supplied with Coca-Cola t-shirts and Naked Juice earphones.
This was Edeoga’s first time attending the traditional conference week event. She also had the added responsibility of organizing it. She said, “It was overwhelming, but I had a great team helping me so that was good. It was really fun organizing, because look at how many people turn out, which is good for us because we know that we are reaching out to a lot of the student body.”
For Josh Luce, the director of student activities, this is his 17th Midnight Breakfast, spanning a little over eight years of working at Sarah Lawrence. Even though this is not a typical nine-to-five job, Luce explained, “It is part of the gig.” Luce continued to discuss Midnight Breakfast’s specialness: “We never have to worry about getting a crowd. People always want food, especially at this time of day and they’re crazy with their end of semester wrap up so it’s a fun way for everyone to come together and de-stress a little bit.”
Students went back and forth for second and third helpings. Several, such as Amanda Wall (’20), commented on how they would sneak a few pastries for breakfast tomorrow morning. It seemed as though all the breakfast staples—bagels, eggs, pastries, bacon, and tater tots—were present.
As AVI chef, Louis Fuentes, made egg and cheese quesadillas with salsa, he explained why he enjoys this night in particular: “I love it. I love to see all you guys here. It’s a great turn out. Everyone comes and eats, has fun, listens to music.” When asked about how he deals with the hectic night, Fuentes replied, “It’s not crazy at all! It’s simple. You know I hold [Bates] down.”
Students who wanted the free food but not the crowds went upstairs and sat on the floor by the Student Affairs Office and in the Black Squirrel. In most areas and corners of Bates, one could find a student nibbling on a bagel or sipping a coup of coffee.
Many upperclassmen were returning attendees of Midnight Breakfast. Other students decided to opt out and stay studying in library as to avoid the Bates frenzy. But out of all the grades, it was the first years that seemed amazed at the high attendance and community atmosphere that the event provided.
Quentin Allen (’20) remarked, “I think it’s quite amazing. I think it is really great that SLC has a night where everyone can stop studying and take a break and then continue after eating—for free.”
Andrea Cantor ‘17