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Valenti alumni help students de-stress with free breakfast

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Jack J. Valenti School of Communication Alumni brought free breakfast for students to relax before midterms Tuesday. | Nguyen Le/The Cougar

Members of the ­Valenti Alumni Association brought free breakfast as support for students going through midterms from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday in the School of Communication’s courtyard.

“As a student, I know that I always wanted free breakfast,” Alumni Association President Meagan Hanson said, referring to the inspiration behind the event.

Back in May, the M.D. Anderson Library hosted a Finals Mania where UH students could give their brains a break and awaken their taste buds with turkey sausage, orange juice, pancakes and a multitude of toppings. The biannual event debuted in 2008 and took place at the end of both the fall and spring semesters.

“In the Finals Mania, (students) get free breakfast so we we asked, ‘Why don’t we do something for our students here?,'” Hanson said.

Hanson mentioned that the up-for-grabs edibles were donated, which included Taco Cabana tacos, bagels from Shipley’s, breakfast bars, bottled water, coffee and orange juice from Einstein Bagel Bros.

“(The food is) free, so you don’t have to go wait in line,” Abigail Reyes, a journalism graduate and association member said. “I remember when I was on campus and I hated going to the Satellite, especially during tests, because I did not want to waste 10-15 minutes in line when I could be studying.”

Reyes noticed that visitors were most drawn to the tacos, which were available in many varieties.

“They’re really good,” Reyes said. “I really think it’s a Southern thing also. Everybody’s reaching for the tacos.”

Besides food, Lisa Anderson brought her dog, a four year-old Siberian Husky named Titus to boost students’ energy.

“I wanted him to see the campus and get to see all the students,” vice president of the association, Lisa Anderson said. “If it makes you smile and it helps you relax a little bit so you’re not so stressed for your midterms.”

The large audience allowed Hanson to sense longevity for these free breakfast sessions.

“We’ll probably do it again next semester for midterms,” Hanson said. “Hopefully it will just grow and grow, and we can make it annual or biannual.”

Hanson also saw the event as contribution to where she and her members received their caps and gowns.

“I feel like there’s a huge disconnect between (students and alumni),” Hanson said. “It’s like ‘We don’t exist’ and ‘we don’t give back’ so you want to go, ‘Hey, we’re here, we’re real people and you can join us when you graduate.’”

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