Massages, magic await students under stress

By Juliann Vachon

Students looking for a break from studying can get free food and fun at Monday night’s Midnight Crunch Brunch.

Faculty will serve students breakfast food from 9 p.m. to midnight at Memorial Coliseum, and students can also participate in free activities, such as a game of pool with President Lee Todd for the chance to win a pair of UK basketball tickets.

The seventh annual event, put on by the Division of Student Affairs, is expected to draw about 3,000 students this year, said event co-chair Rob Hayslett. The first 2,500 students will get a free T-shirt at the door, he said.

“It’s set up to give students a break,” Hayslett said. “It’s nice to give back to the students.”

The night will also feature magicians, caricature artists and masseurs offering their services for free, and students can compete in a free-throw basketball competition.

A shuttle will run from South Campus to Memorial Coliseum throughout the night, Hayslett said.

“It’s probably one of those events where some people think, ‘This is too good to be true,’ ” he said. “But it’s free and there for the students to come and get a break from studying.”

A university in Canada recently adopted UK’s Midnight Crunch Brunch idea and found it successful and useful for students.

Janine Foster, manager of mass appeals in the Office of Advancement at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, said the school saw the idea posted on an online mailing list about a year ago and was inspired.

Queen’s had its first crunch brunch last week and more than 800 students showed up, which was a great turnout for the college with about 16,000 full-time students, Foster said.

“When you’re studying for exams and all you can think about is going home, you need something to help you relax for a bit,” Foster said. “The idea was just to take the edge off.”

The night ran much like UK’s, complete with breakfast food, free massages, music and T-shirts. Queen’s University had two local alumni perform tarot-card readings and magic tricks.

Student groups, including a hip-hop dance group and an a cappella choir, also performed at the event.

“The whole night was outstanding,” Foster said. “We have to thank Kentucky for inspiring us.”