Frazzled finals test-takers find ways to de-stress

USD students de-stress by using spinal exercisers that were in the Muenster University Center last Thursday for Finals Relaxation Week. (Photo by Travis Gulbrandson)

USD students de-stress by using spinal exercisers that were in the Muenster University Center last Thursday for Finals Relaxation Week.
(Photo by Travis Gulbrandson)

Oxygen bar

Ellie Dailey serves USD students at an oxygen bar that was set up in the Muenster University Center Thursday, Dec. 12. The bar was there as part of the Finals Relaxation Program sponsored by the Campus Activities Board.
(Photo by Travis Gulbrandson)

By Travis Gulbrandson

Finals week is one of the most hectic times for college students, but one group at USD provided some opportunities for frazzled test-takers to de-stress.

For several days last week, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) sponsored the Finals Relaxation Program, which offered a variety of activities at the Muenster University Center.

On Wednesday, Dec. 11, students had a chance to play with puppies, and the following day provided such relaxation equipment as automated massage chairs, spinal exercisers and an oxygen bar.

“(It’s) just for students to take a break and relax during finals week,” said Ellie Dailey, campus liaison for CAB. “Students really enjoy it.”

Jason Kaplan of Spintacular Entertainment brought the equipment for Thursday’s activities.

“For me, this will make … 12 schools in 12 days,” he said. “I started in Ashville, and I’ve been everywhere from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, the Bronx, New York City, central Michigan, back to Pennsylvania, Chicago.

“We’re based out of Ashville, NC. We do everything from custom T-shirts, trucker hats and water bottles to this kind of thing,” he said.

Kaplan brought four automated massage chairs, each of them about the size of a recliner.

He also brought spinal exercisers, which had students laying on a mattress-like surface while a machine did adjustment in 15-minute increments.

“All it really does is move your feet in a small figure eight motion and loosens up your mid and lower back,” Kaplan said.

There also was an oxygen bar.

“It compresses oxygen out of thin air, essentially, and just pushes it through a set of scents that students can enjoy,” Kaplan said. “There are 16 different scents, everything from citrus to eucalyptus and lavender.”

“It’s actually delicious,” said Taylor Moore, president of the CAB. “The biggest thing is that the oxygen promotes relaxation, and that’s the whole premise of the event.”

Thursday’s events ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Muenster University Center, which allowed about 15 sessions for each of the massage chairs.

“With the oxygen bar included, anywhere from 200 to 300, depending on how much time they give for the oxygen bar,” Kaplan said. “Sometimes we limit the time on the chairs, and try to get more people in when there’s a line.”

The CAB sponsors Finals Relaxation Programs each year for both the fall and spring semesters, usually with similar activities each time.

“Some of the events has a structural basis as well, so there’s a certain understanding of when events will be,” Moore said. “But this one is almost engraved.”

“This is something we’ve done most years, but I think this year we’re trying to make it really prevalent that CAB is sponsoring it,” Dailey said. “I think in years past it’s kind of gone by the wayside that we’re the sponsor, but this year we’re trying to make it clear that we’re the ones.”

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