With the cost of living, eating and studying on a college campus, students appreciate any free sustenance they can find – including pancakes.
On Sunday, Keith Taylor, Ph. D., Gannon University president, invites all Gannon students to the Mid-Knight pancake breakfast, a semiannual event held each semester.
This year, students will be offered pancakes, hash browns, scrambled eggs, sausage, cheesesteak and milkshakes from 9:30 p.m.-midnight in the cafeteria.
The president’s office sponsors the breakfast and Metz Culinary Management cooks it, while Gannon faculty and staff serve students portions of eggs and pancakes.
Pete Mannarelli, the manager of Metz Culinary Management at Gannon, said the event has probably been going on for 20 years. He said many staff members actually request to work during the event.
“The students, of course, love it,” Mannarelli said. “It’s a big thing for the students, and they want to be a part of it.”
To accommodate the crowd that gets as large as 800-900 students, Metz cooks 1,400 pancakes, 160 pounds of sausage, 2,500 portions of hash browns and 180 pounds of scrambled eggs – about 1,440 2-ounce eggs.
For the cheesesteaks and milkshakes, Metz orders 30 gallons of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, 18 gallons of strawberry ice cream and 80 pounds of cheesesteak.
Alexa Shaffer, a junior occupational therapy major, said she will definitely be attending the breakfast, and she has gone every semester since her freshman year.
“I’m getting a break from studying, and there’s yummy milkshakes,” Shaffer said.
Coji Maddona III, a junior education major and veteran of the Mid-Knight pancake breakfast, said he has gone every time and plans to go again, since this is his last semester at Gannon.
“I look forward to the milkshakes,” Maddona said.
Kat Martinelli, a freshman history major, said she will be going as well.
“It’s at night and everything else is closed,” Martinelli said.
Some students enjoy the event so much that it makes them delusional. Vince Paczkoskie, a sophomore history major, said he might attend based on his experience last year.
“I’m totally about it,” Paczkoskie said. “Leonardo DiCaprio came and said they were the best pancakes ever. I can’t believe people missed it.”
Megan Hamm, a sophomore theatre and communication major, disagreed.
“I have to stay in and get all my other homework done,” Hamm said. “It was just too crowded for my taste.”
Mannarelli said the event is positive for everybody.
“It’s a tradition that will go on for eternity,” Mannarelli said.