Photo courtesy of FIU via Creative Commons’ flickr.
Ariel Weinstein/ Staff Writer
As the festivities of the upcoming holidays are quickly approaching, so are the endless hours of studying for final exams as the semester comes to an end.
In an attempt to lessen the stress load on students over their exams, the University has established a series of two one-week long stress relieving events formally called Recharge for Finals, formerly known to students as Cram Jam.
“The importance of [Cram Jam] as a program lies in its emphasis towards engaging the general student body during finals week in fun, stress relieving activities,” said Tiffany Roman Biffa, sophomore international relations major, executive assistant of Modesto A. Maidique Campus’ Student Government Association and chairperson for the Cram Jam committee.
The first week of Cram Jam is pre-finals week, lasting from December 2 to December 8. During this week, hot tea and ten-minute chair massages, sponsored by the University Wellness Center, will be provided from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. every day in the Green Library.
Cram Jam then continues into its second week, which begins the start of finals, with different events each day.
On Monday, December 9, there will be continued chair massages by the University Wellness Center, SGA tabling and the main Cram Jam event: the midnight breakfast provided by Aramark that will take place in the dining hall at Fresh Foods Company.
Last year, approximately 900 students showed up to the door of the University dining hall, the Fresh Foods Company at MMC and the Midnight Breakfast in the ballrooms at Biscayne Bay Campus. The breakfast lasts from 11:45 p.m. to about 1:00 a.m.
The events continue throughout the week with sponsors such as Aramark providing Dunkin’ Donuts treats, grab-and-go bags provided by the SGA and a therapeutic event called Pet-a-Puppy where students can interact with various breeds of dogs in the Graham Center lawn.
Sofia Rodriguez, a sophomore majoring in advertising, participated in the Cram Jam event last year.
“There were puppies to play with and it just got my mind off of everything because the puppies were so cute and playful. It is very therapeutic being around dogs in stressful times,” Rodriguez said.
In addition to making time for relaxation, GC will be making more time for studying.
From December 6 – 8, the computer labs in GC will have extended hours, allowing students to come and go as they please.
“The main goal of the program is to provide students with tools to succeed in their final exams,” Biffa said. “Everything in the program is geared to relieve the stress of students during finals week… for example, the chair massages in the pit which were introduced to the program with the purpose of offering students a few moments of relaxation before or between their exams.”
Victoria Suess, a sophomore majoring in elementary education, said she appreciates the midnight breakfast.
“It gave me a lively atmosphere where I could de-stress from all the studying and just hangout with everyone for a little while,” Suess said. “Plus, finding time to cook food while studying is kind of hard to do, so the midnight breakfast provided a somewhat nutritious meal of real food, not just ramen noodles and chips.”
“Cram Jam is effective in offering students with numerous resources, such as additional studying space, food and stress relieving activities. Nonetheless, there is always room for improvement. Therefore, for next semester, the plan is to make the program more interactive and fun for our MMC students,” Biffa said.