Finals week started Monday, Dec. 5, and with it came lack of sleep and intense studying, dreaded by students at the end of semester.
A few perks made the week bearable, though. In addition to free printing and extended library hours on both campuses, students enjoyed a university tradition on the first day of finals: Midnight Breakfast, provided by the Student Government Association (SGA). The event is a part of Cram Jam, a week of events designed to help students get through their exams.
Midnight Breakfast, held this year at Fresh Foods Company at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus (MMC) and Panther Square at the Biscayne Bay Campus, has been a tradition at FIU for more than 12 years. It has grown into a vibrant part of finals week every fall and spring semester. The event features a full breakfast, including eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, fresh fruit and pastries.
“The midnight breakfast is the signature event of our Worlds Ahead Cram Jam during finals week,” said Gracie Aguero, SGA’s Academic Affairs coordinator and Cram Jam’s main organizer. “We’ve really increased our collaboration with numerous departments at the university in an effort to truly make this week a Worlds Ahead program. We were even able to extend the program to two weeks – Prep Week and Finals Week – for the first time.”
At MMC, students started lining up at the door as early as 10 p.m. The line extended down the main hall of the Graham Center (GC) as it got closer to opening time at midnight. While students waited for the event to begin, they took advantage of various activities at the GC Pit. A DJ entertained the crowd with music. Students danced and hung out with friends while they waited. Free short massages were also provided to offer relief for those who felt anxious and stressed from studying.
Shekinah Harper, a sophomore majoring in print journalism, was one of the first students in line. She arrived at GC around 9:30 p.m. to claim her spot. “I’ve been studying for about 12 hours over the past two days, going to work in between study sessions,” she said. “This is the perfect opportunity to just relax and get in a good meal.”
University officials were on hand to celebrate the finals tradition with students. President Mark B. Rosenberg as well as numerous university administrators and college deans assisted members of SGA in serving food.
“You can feel the energy in the air,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Rosa Jones. “We know students are studying for finals, and we believe in balance. This event allows students to take a break, relax and just have fun. It also gives [university administrators] the opportunity to interact with the students and wish them well.”
By the time the event was over, more than 800 students had been served. Some went home, and some went right back to the library to continue studying for finals.
– Christian A. Williams