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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

St. Joe’s holiday traditions

Annual Campion Christmas Dinner

St. Joe’s will host its 10th annual holiday dinner in the Campion Student Center from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 6. This will be the first year Kenneth Goldbach, general manager of SJU Dining, has run the popular dinner.

Goldbach worked as director of operations for SJU Dining from 2009 to 2010 before becoming Aramark’s general manager at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey. He returned to St. Joe’s this past April and was told the holiday dinner has significantly grown since he was last here.

“The dinner is not what it was like when I was here in 2009,” Goldbach said. “It wasn’t that big.”

Goldbach explained SJU Dining is expecting 1,800 people for the holiday dinner this year. A typical dinner at Campion Dining Hall serves from 1,100 to 1,300 students.

Kiersten Glynn ’18 has attended the holiday dinner multiple times.

“It was always exciting to go there,” Glynn said. “They always have good food, better than usual, so it is definitely nicer. They also have live music.”

Glynn said her favorite dish is the sushi platter. Sushi is on the menu for Wednesday’s dinner along with peel and eat shrimp, buffalo chicken flatbread, milkshakes and more.

Gingerbread ice sculpture from the Christmas dinner last year (Photo by Charley Rekstis ’20).

Goldbach said between the food and extra labor, SJU Dining typically spends more for this dinner. Just like any Campion dinner, though, students on meal plans can swipe in with their IDs at no additional cost. They can also bring friends, who can use a guest pass or pay $13 before entering the dining hall.

Joe Gaul ’18 has attended the dinner multiple times as well and is planning to be there Wednesday. Gaul recommends the seafood and prime rib steak.

“The food is excellent,” Gaul said. “Being there with friends is always nice and I am looking forward to it this year.”

Emily Finnack ’18 has attended the holiday dinner every year she has been at St. Joe’s. She said she loves the turkey, salad and mashed potatoes. However, Finnack did note her gluten allergy can make it hard to find food she can eat.

“If there is something that is covered in gravy, then people who have a gluten allergy can’t have it,” Finnack said. “Last year they put the sauces on the side, so that was nice.”

No matter what’s on the menu, expect long lines, and long wait times to get in the door.

“I remember when I went when I was a sophomore and the line was almost back to the chapel so it took a while to get in,” Finnack said. “Probably close to an hour.”

To pacify hungry students waiting in line, Goldbach said dining staff will butler hors d’oeuvres this year, including chicken satay, mac and cheese bites, spanakopita and mini cocktail franks.

Along with getting in the holiday spirit, Goldbach is looking forward to interacting with students and serving them.

“We just want the students to relax and enjoy and us to say thank you for the opportunity to service during the fall semester,” Goldbach said.

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