Every other Wednesday, Campus Ministry hosts a free grilled cheese lunch in the lower level of Boland Hall.
Campus Ministry began Grilled Cheese Wednesdays last semester after opening its new student lounge in the lower level of Boland Hall. Kaitlyn Quinn, the Campus Ministry graduate assistant, and others in Campus Ministry organize it.
“Grilled Cheese Wednesdays are a great chance for our students – many of whom are commuters – to enjoy a meal ‘on us’ and take a breather in the middle of the day,” Stephanie Sonnick, the Campus Ministry Spiritual Life Coordinator, said. “This event also allows students to enjoy all that our Lounge has to offer: free coffee and snacks daily, comfortable couches for reading or homework, a ping-pong table and lots of games available for use.”
Sonnick said she thinks Grilled Cheese Wednesdays helps bring the community together, especially for those who may not be heavily involved in Campus Ministry.
“Too often, students at Seton Hall have ‘so much to do,’ they don’t have time to simply ‘be,’” she said. “It’s our hope that by coming for a sandwich every other Wednesday, any student will feel welcomed, fed and nourished by a relaxing and welcoming environment.”
Arelissa Gonzalez, a sophomore biology major, has been involved with the grilled cheese events since the beginning of last semester.
“My favorite part of these events is being able to be there for Kaitlyn and being able to provide warm comfort food for people,” Gonzalez said. “It’s nice to see how happy everyone gets when they can have lunch and socialize with their friends.”
Gonzalez said she believes that Grilled Cheese Wednesdays make an impact on the community.
“I hope that with these events people can feel more welcome and can get more involved in Campus Ministry,” Gonzalez said. “It is a great environment where everyone can make new friends and grow together in their faith. I believe that the more people we reach with our free grilled cheese, the more opportunities there are for people to feel more at home on campus especially in Campus Ministry.”
Kelly Murphy, a senior psychology major, said her favorite part of the event is the theme of happiness.
“While we have a great time actually making the grilled cheeses in the kitchen, my favorite part of the events is seeing the smile on people’s faces when they pick up a free sandwich for lunch,” Murphy said. “They are always so shocked that it actually is free with no ulterior motives.”
Murphy said these types of events are important for Campus Ministry as a whole.
“When people enter the lounge, we hope they feel like they are a part of a greater community,” Murphy said. “If they keep coming back each week, we are able to build up friendships with them, making sure that they are known, loved, and cared for. Campus ministry does a great job of pulling people into the fabric of our campus community, showing people that they do belong here and ensuring no one ever has to feel alone.”
Gonzalez also commented on how these events have a great impact on the campus.
Gonzalez said, “These events are important to campus ministry because many more people can get involved because of it. In the end, I think it is important that people know they aren’t alone and can have a safe space with so many welcoming and loving people. What better way to say ‘welcome’ than a free, warm grilled cheese and a place to hang out and build friendships?”
Alexander Krukar can be reached at email@example.com. edu.