You know how it goes: During the last two weeks of the semester, the university puts on many events and programs designed to help students cope with the stress of finals week.
There are dogs, massage chairs and free food all over campus as a way to connect with students and ensure that they finish the semester strong.
We are here for them.
But, what could the university be doing to better serve students? First, many of the events do not cater to student schedules. Student Appreciation Day, held last Monday, ran from 1 to 3 p.m., a time frame during which most students have class.
Many of us on the editorial board would much rather have been eating corn on the cob at Centennial Mall than sitting in history class, but skipping one of the last classes of the semester is not conducive to student success.
Why not hold the event later, or for longer, to maximize student involvement? Surely the university does not want students to sacrifice class time for a little relaxation on the Mall.
The scheduling conundrum also applies to the dogs on campus. Carlson Library is hosting an event in which Anna the comfort dog will be available for students to pet Sunday, April 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. Is a Sunday afternoon really the best time to catch the most students?
We certainly do not want the dog to be overwhelmed, but it seems to us that it would make more sense to have Anna available when more students are in the library, perhaps during evening hours.
We see the same issues present in massage chair times—a little consideration for timing would be appreciated when scheduling these events.
Furthermore, is it even worth it to bring these events to campus so late in the semester? Sure, students feel incredibly overwhelmed during finals, but a case can be made that students feel overwhelmed for the duration of the semester.
Why aren’t more activities available for students on a regular basis? Obviously there is a cost measure related to this issue, but it would be nice to be able to de-stress at any point in the semester.
It’s not healthy to try to get students to relax just during finals—there is a need from the beginning.
We do not mean to sound ungrateful for the programming the university brings to campus, but a few tweaks would ensure a more beneficial system for everyone involved.
If the university wants to maximize student success, it will be willing to make adjustments wherever possible.
Of course, students feeling exceptionally stressed during the semester should know that they can make appointments with the Counseling Center for one-on-one assistance.
We hope that everyone has a successful end to the semester, and we look forward to reconnecting with you all in the fall.
Whether you’ll be studying, working, traveling or relaxing, have a great summer!