The numbers are staggering.

In just a short two-hour period, 1,500 University of Houston students will be served a plateful of pancakes and turkey sausage, down some coffee or orange juice, and load up on snacks. They’ll stick around to play some board games, chat with friends and perhaps get a much-needed five-minute chair massage.

Then, as quickly as it all started, they’ll head back to their on-campus housing, apartments and homes to continue studying for final exams.

It’s all part of Finals Mania, a tradition at UH that happens twice a year to provide a quick break for students. It’ll happen again on Monday, Dec. 10, from 9 to 11 p.m. at the Rockwell Pavilion in M.D. Anderson Library.

The event, which is hosted each semester by University Services, Dining Services and the UH Libraries, will kick off with members of the UH marching band performing several songs from the balcony of the Rockwell Pavilion. Then the serving begins. The long and winding line of students always moves rather quickly as dozens of volunteers serve plain, blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes.

“After you get your pancakes, you come out to the topping station. You can get strawberries, whipped cream, butter, syrup. There’s a lot,” said Billy Garner, the marketing coordinator for Auxiliary Services.

Pancakes will be served from eight tables, sponsored and staffed by representatives from the Library, Administration and Finance, Student Government Association, Student Affairs, Faculty Senate, Staff Council, the Provost’s Office and Advancement.

Eight masseuses from Citywide Massage Company will be at the library, providing free chair massages. The Center for Student Involvement is sponsoring six of them, and Residential Housing and Student Life is sponsoring the other two.

The library purchased a number of popular board games that will be set out on tables in the study areas.

“You can play board games while you eat your pancakes and kind of mingle with your friends,” Garner said.

Monster Energy Drink will be coming out with free Monster drinks.

Patrick Daniel, the executive director of Learning and Assessment, has been a part of the army of staff and faculty who volunteer at the event and keep everything running smoothly. He sees how it has a positive impact on students.

“As volunteers, our presence sends an important message to students about studying for finals,” Daniel said.

Faculty and staff can still sign up to volunteer. To do so, contact Garner at or 832-842-9141.