"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Meet the ‘Mag Room Munchers’

A group of Sigma Pi brothers find good food and community with each other in the Magnolia Room
Evan Harris
The Magnolia Room is located on the third floor of the Reynolda Building. The dining option serves lunch exclusively during the week in a more formal dining environment than other places on campus.

Many places on campus have their own version of “the usual suspects.” But the Magnolia “Mag” Room, located on the second floor of Reynolda Hall, has a much more dedicated audience.

Known by most of the staff as the “Mag Room Munchers,” the brothers of the Sigma Pi Fraternity have been devoted Magnolia Room attendees for years. They live, eat and breathe the Magnolia Room. 

“The Mag Room is a cultural space for us,” said Sam Hennig, a senior and self-proclaimed “Mag Room connoisseur.” “It’s a place where we can sit down and engage with each other in a classy manner — something you can’t find anywhere else on campus.” 

 The Wake Forest campus is full of university-wide activities that never fail to make everyone feel connected, whether it’s rolling the quad after a big win or putting on your dancing shoes for Wake N’ Shake. But it’s niche traditions between groups like the Mag Room Munchers that make campus a special place — you just have to look close enough to find them. 

Story continues below advertisement

“The Mag Room is all about being close-knit, having more home-style cooking and getting to know our students,” said Catering Manager Joanne Dagostino. 

Greeted by a “home sweet home” sign, bottomless sweet tea, buffet-style food and chandeliers galore, the Magnolia Room is the epitome of Southern hospitality. This welcoming environment is exactly what the Mag Room Munchers love.

“Let’s break it down: [the] coffee is excellent, [there’s] ice cream on Fridays, [there’s] consistently good food and fancy white tablecloths,” Hennig said. “We are quite literally above the Pit.”

It’s without a doubt that the Sigma Pi brothers appreciate the quality of the Magnolia Room. In fact, they are there every day.  

It’s always a surprise when you come to the Mag Room — you don’t know what to expect. It’s like Christmas morning every day.”

— Colby Consolati, Class of 2026

The Magnolia Room staff expects the Mag Room Munchers daily at 11 a.m. sharp. With commitment comes great perks, and through befriending the Magnolia Room staff, the brothers of Sigma Pi have made sure to leave their mark.

“I think [Dagostino] loves that we’re here — she loves how passionate we are,” said senior Matthew Gajewski. “Last year, she told us the Valentine’s Day menu two weeks in advance, and this week offered us to take over the music.” 

Planning and Exclusivity

According to the brothers, it’s no easy feat to become a Magnolia Room regular — with its specific hours, it requires lots of planning. However, this is an effort that they’re willing to make.

“It’s part of my day. I have it in my Google Calendar, scheduled as ‘Mag Room,’” Gajewski said. “A lot of the brothers schedule their classes around the Mag Room hours. It doesn’t really matter what’s on the menu, it’s always good.”

With a longstanding group chat composed of Sigma Pi brothers dedicated to the Magnolia Room, you might think that Sigma Pi membership and a seat in the Mag Room Munchers go hand-in-hand. This is not the case, as they have separate group chats to which only select brothers gain access. 

“There’s probably 45 people in [Sigma] Pi that come to the Mag Room, but only around 25 are actually in the group chat,” said sophomore Colby Consolati. 

By establishing such exclusivity, the Mag Room Munchers set high standards for those hoping to be part of what they call a hidden gem. Although the Mag Room Munchers have made it clear that anyone who wishes to join them is more than welcome, they also emphasize the distinctive role of being an active member of the Magnolia Room chat and described their group dynamic as a fraternity within the fraternity.

Christmas Day, every day

Senior Matt Buchanan is known by his brothers as the “Mag Room Chair.” This is a position he stepped into this year after taking over from Matt Kilduff, a Sigma Pi brother who graduated last year.

It’s part of my day. I have it in my Google Calendar, scheduled as ‘Mag Room. A lot of the brothers schedule their classes around the Mag Room hours. It doesn’t really matter what’s on the menu, it’s always good.

— Matthew Gajewski, Class of 2024

“I try to foster the culture in this place,” Buchanan said. “It’s an exclusive chat, so you have to show lasting and persevering commitment to be part of it.”

The food is the main attraction. According to Dagostino, the chicken parmesan trumps everything. But for the real Magnolia Room devotees, every meal is worth trying. As the Mag Room Munchers express, it is important to show up each day — not just for the notorious crowd-pleasers. For dedicated brothers, these days are comparable to weed-out classes.

“You can’t just come for chicken parm day and expect to be part of the group chat,” sophomore Hayden Blair said. “That’s not fully embracing the culture.”

While all classes of Sigma Pi brothers take pride in how often they frequent the Magnolia Room, the seniors have set a notable example when it comes to their pristine attendance.

“I know a senior who just shows up on Fridays… with a beach chair, comes to the Mag Room for lunch and then hangs out all day on campus,” Consolati said. 

Other seniors have meal plans that are calculated uniquely for the Magnolia Room, with six swipes a week for Magnolia Room lunch and one for post-chapter Pit on Sunday. 

“It’s kind of funny because we don’t try to be that dedicated, but at the same time we are,” Buchanan said. “I can guarantee you that at least 10 of my friends will be here any day of the week.”

The sheer excitement is passed down like a legacy, and the passion for the Magnolia Room is continuously spread amongst the brothers of Sigma Pi.

“It’s always a surprise when you come to the Mag Room — you don’t know what to expect,” said Consolati. “It’s like Christmas morning every day.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Old Gold & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *