‘Welcome Back Brunch’ A Success

Let’s brunch with Mangu, Salami & Queso!


The smell of a unique Spanish breakfast dish was roaming through the Mercy College Rotunda on  Feb. 8. Students came in to enjoy a ‘Welcome Back Brunch’ buffet hosted by a resident assistant from Founders Hall.

What better way to enjoy a Saturday morning with a home cooked meal of mangu with salami and fried cheese. Oh wait, you cannot forget the sweet onions that come on the side. Students seemed delighted with the idea of  trying something different.

Mangu is a plate of smashed cooked plantains that is mixed with warm water. Accompanied by sliced cooked salami and sliced fried cheese. But what gives it a touch is the red onions that are washed with warm water and vinegar. It gives the mangu a pinch of great taste.

The resident assistants continued to explain that this dish is very popular in the Hispanic culture and many other nationalities have tried it at the brunch for the first time. The feeling of seeing other students opened to the idea to try something new was amusing. Usually, the youth in college can be considered picky.

Samuel Baiden, who was born in Ghana, came to the U.S. when he was a young boy. He was accompanied by his friend Christian Aaron and was intrigued of this event that was happening at Mercy College.

“This is my first trying it and it is really hitting. I have never heard about it. Ever since I came to the U.S., I like to try different things,” says Baiden.

Christian Aaron is from a Philippine background and also tried mangu for the first time. His face expression was intriguing as well as Baiden. The looks of different students giving a taste to a unique Spanish breakfast and getting more after made the resident assistant feel accomplished.

The resident assistant mentioned many of the past food events that were hosted brought many students from the residential life together learning, eating and cooking different food plates. That’s the beauty of a community built at Mercy College. Students interacting with each other last semester at past events was excitement to them but throughout time, some may have drifted away. The brunch reconnected many students.

“I enjoyed myself, the food was really good and filling. It was nice to catch up with people I haven’t seen since last semester,” says freshman Delice Valencia.

Throughout the event, the typical American breakfast menu was available to all students. The classic scrambled eggs with turkey and regular bacon accompanied with a fruit salad for dessert. Residents walked and served themselves the hot buffet of two different special breakfast meals. Two breakfast dishes are better than having only one.

The event brought a diverse population. Many who were non-Hispanics and Hispanics had the opportunity to converse about different breakfast plates. Students had talked about the South American way with an empanada and coffee or chocolate. The “Mommy’s Way” as it is known, or how their parents usually make the breakfast that students drool over every time they go back home to visit.

Resident Director Najja Beaulieu-Hains was also present at the event, helping serve mangu and setting up beautiful table sets. The “Welcome Back Bruch” had to be formal and the colors were gold, red and black. Students had the opportunity to look good for a Saturday bunch with their guys or girls.

“This event for the first time was a success. I definitely will want to keep this tradition going during the first week of fall semesters with my residents assistants. It will be amazing for the freshmen to feel comfortable as they transition into their first semester in college,” says Beaulieu-Hains.

Beaulieu-Hains has also given mangu, salami and cheese a try way before the event. She was introduced by friends and fell in love with the taste.

“I love mangu and cheese with the onions, I do not really like the salami. A couple days before the event, someone from the faculty team brought me her famous mangu from scratch with cheese. When I tell you it was good, it was really good,” says Beaulieu-Hains.

Not only were students looking at the fliers but the faculty were also looking into the event. Beaulieu-Hains had received comments from faculty in regards to the event of how great the idea is for Mercy College.

The event itself took time to plan and several meetings were conducted for the help that was needed as well as the advertisement. Hosting an event with catering food is not easy especially the delivery if it is offered or not. The preparation of doing the research of how much food and decorations will cost is overwhelming.

The planning seemed difficult but the results were achieving. Something great came out of the event for those present to eat and those who helped make the event happen. Resident Assistants at Mercy College have tried their best this spring semester to come up with new and different events to experience.

Students should be on the lookout for upcoming events happening in Founders Hall. From debates to discussions to cooking foods and other activities. Fliers are hanged up throughout the entire building and at times are advertised at the Hudson Hall televisions near Starbucks.