By Sarah Watson
Floor lounges and study rooms that previously sat empty now fill up with frantic students poring over notebooks of color-coded notes and various textbooks in the hours leading up to their last exams of the semester.
Welcome to finals week at the University of Iowa. This week, the IMU will partner with 15 organizations to provide a wide variety of services and activities to help students refuel, de-stress, and study.
Eric Rossow, the assistant director of outreach programs & services for UI Student Life, said the IMU estimated it serves approximately 10,000 to 12,000 students every year from Saturday to Thursday of finals week.
What’s new this year
Crafternoon will make its début appearance in the Hubbard Commons today from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Students can come to decorate cookies.
Vice President of Student Life Melissa Shivers will make an appearance to hand out pizza and talk with students from 7-8 p.m. before settling down for a study-break movie showing of Inside Out, hosted by CAB from 8-10 p.m. in 348 IMU.
“Inside Out is a good choice for finals because it has a focus on mental health, and students can relate it to the ups and downs of a stressful week,” CAB President Emma Geary said. “We encourage people to wear their pajamas, relax, and not have to worry about anything.”
Panchero’s will be a new partner for the finals week at the IMU. Employees will hand out more than 700 units of free chips and queso at 8 p.m. today.
A campus regular, the Pancake Man, will flip pancakes from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. today. The Nebraska-based entrepreneur comes every year, Rossow said, and has appeared for other events, including Dance Marathon.
“We serve around 1,000 folks in a four-hour period,” Rossow said. “[The Pancake Man] has been in business for years and years, he travels around, makes pancakes, throws the pancakes into the audience. His career is pancakes.”
Free 10-minute massages will be available today, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 8 p.m. Rossow said those usually fill up quickly.
One of the most popular events, Rossow said, are the therapy-dog sessions. The IMU partnered with UI Paws, a student volunteer organization dedicated to improving lives of animals, to bring therapy dogs to campus.
“Some comments we get [on feedback surveys] are ‘we wish there were more nights of therapy dogs’ or ‘we wish there was more coffee,’ ” Rossow said. “I don’t think we can ever get enough therapy dogs or enough coffee.”
Free food all week
Anytime this week, students can grab a bag of popcorn on the first floor or candy, soda, and water at the front desk.
At 2 p.m. each day, fruit and granola bars will be distributed stealth-like throughout the IMU by Health & Wellness Ninjas.
Coffee, too, will be available at 11 p.m. each day.
Q&A sessions with professors and TAs
Starting three semesters ago, the Academic Support and Retention Office coordinated with professors and teaching assistants of a few large lecture classes to answer students’ questions before the big final. This year, there are three sessions.
Sunday kicked off the sessions with a Q&A for Engineer Math I with Professor Victor Camillo, who teaches two lectures of a little fewer than 200 students each.
“The real problem with studying math is that students wait a long time to interact with me, so the more you can bring them in to the subject even for a few minutes at a time is better,” Camillo said. “This helps to do that.”
On Tuesday, Nutrition & Health will be available to answer student questions in 348 IMU from 3 to 5 p.m. and Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe Q&A will be at the same time in the Iowa Theater.
On Wednesday, Western Civilization III will host a Q&A in 348 IMU from 3 to 5 p.m.