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Last Sunday, like nearly every Sunday during the academic year, some students neglected to set their alarm clocks. They instead relied on waking up to the pungent aroma of perking coffee. Or the sounds of eggs scrambling, crackling, and sometimes burning, in lounges down their halls. Or the barks of "Brunch!" as fellow students tear down hallways, pounding on doors and yelling like half-crazed drill sergeants. In a time-honored campus tradition, groggy students in residences across campus filled dormitory lounges with a vast array of juices, bagels, muffins, and pre-sweetened breakfast cereals. Some students try to be the first at their brunch for hot food. But College freshman Lilie Chang wanted the plastic maroon boomerang from a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal. However, most casually throw on tee-shirts and sweats before arriving at brunch. Some come with their eyes half-shut stumbling down the hall letting their noses guide the way while others quickly run a comb or brush through their hair as they gallop down to brunch. "A minority of us will shower eventually," said College freshman Andrew Epstein at a second-floor Hill House brunch. But in each of the various dormitories across campus, there are varying methods and traditions guiding the Sunday ritual. In the Quadrangle's Ware College House, students designed a culinary salute to Homecoming, consuming the toast that would normally have been tossed away at the football game -- in both plain and "French" variations. Kyda Kaiser, a graduate fellow at Ware, said suites usually develop brunches around holidays and themes. Last week's brunch was preceded by a "Harvest Brunch," which featured pancakes with apples. Ware brunches run for several hours from late morning into early afternoon. According to Kaiser, though, residents must get up particularly early to enjoy the special entrees. "Key items like sausage go fast," said Kaiser. "But the carbohydrates are there to the end." Organizers of Van Pelt College House's brunch actually charge $2 admission, with profits eventually funnelling back into the house. Signs in the dormitory entreat residents to "Please Cook Brunch or Die." As in most dorms, different rooms or suites prepare brunch, with the work and monetary burdens eventually split evenly among all residents. "It's a good deal," said Hill House's Epstein. "Pay $15 and have slaves feed you." Some brunches are simpler than others. In DuBois College House, Engineering sophomore Shelly Smith wakes up every Sunday and procures Dunkin Donuts, coffee, juice, and newspapers for the house. "You're a bit late for glazed donuts," DuBois Faculty Master Risa Lavizzo-Mourey told one student who arrived around noon last Sunday. "It's a morning when you don't have other things to do," Lavizzo-Mourey explained. "It's a nice thing to build community spirit." And while many said they like the free food of Sunday mornings, it is the community spirit makes the brunches important for freshman floors. "At the beginning it was a way to meet people -- it was a really relaxed atmosphere," said College freshman Jeffrey Greenberg, a resident of Community House. "Everyone really chilled out." "I don't know if it's a function of being a first-year student and not knowing anyone else or if its brunches," said College senior Meredith Carroll, a residential advisor in High Rise South. "But it brings them together each week." She said the lack of a weekend meal plan and the low cost of brunches also contribute to their popularity. "We talked about not having brunches one week and they said no way," she added. But some freshmen resident advisors indicated that brunch participation has declined or even ceased completely since the beginning of the semester. Many students have decided instead to venture to area restaurants to fulfill their Sunday appetites. Diners at both Kelly and Cohen Restaurant and Saladalley listed omelettes as a favorite brunch selection -- an item seldom prepared in dormitory brunches. Students eating at area restaurants generally spent more time getting together before going out to breakfast. Compared with dormitory brunchers, a greater number said they had studied or exercised beforehand. Several fraternity brothers said they start their fall Sundays with intramural football games and follow up by socializing at campus restaurants. "We like to eat and get the scoop on the weekend," said College junior John Gamba, a Pi Kappa Alpha brother who ate at Kelly and Cohen Restaurant. Restaurant brunchers said they must sometimes contend with long waits and high prices. However, students at one brunch indicated that they are prepared to leave brunches with more than just emptier pockets, fuller stomachs, and closer friendships. "We have a moment of silence and listen to our arteries clog afterwards," Hill House's Epstein said.

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