By Olivia Rizzo
Finals Fest has become a tradition at the end of every semester at the College. Many students feel the possibility of being crushed under the weight of their textbooks as they prepare for their final exams, and Finals Fest provides students with a small reprieve to the dizzying amount of hours spent studying and finishing papers and projects.
Hosted by Student Government (SG) in collaboration with over 20 other student organizations, Finals Fest has become a staple experience for the College community as the semester comes to an end.
SG’s Vice President of Student Services Olivia White, a junior urban early childhood education and sociology double major, has planned the four-day stress relief extravaganza for the past two years.
“It’s also a way for student organizations to have a presence on campus and give back to the student body,” White said. “It’s really a great way for all student organizations to come together for one event and provide a great experience for the entire student body.”
Participating in Finals Fest is meant to be both enjoyable and rewarding for the organizations that come together to provide students with small moments of relaxation and a worry-free atmosphere.
“APO (Alpha Phi Omega) has chosen to take part in Finals Fest because we think it is fantastic that so many organizations come together during Finals Fest to help other students relax during the most stressful time of the semester,” APO President and sophomore statistics major Ethan Crasto said.
This year, APO has planned a coloring event during which students can de-stress, but also perform some community service, as all of the artistic creations made at their event will be donated to Color a Smile, a non-profit that sends the pictures to nursing homes and American troops overseas.
The Mixed Signals, the College’s improv comedy group, helps prove that laughter really is the best medicine. They are scheduled to perform a comedy improv show during this semester’s festivities.
This semesterly end of term festival of food, crafts and entertainment doesn’t just happen overnight. Weeks of planning and preparation go into making this event possible.
“Finals Fest is probably the most time-consuming event that SG plans,” White said. “We start by securing locations for the four days, with a new event almost every hour from 10 a.m. (to) midnight. Then we email organizations to find out what events they would like to host, as well as plan and request funding for our own giveaways.”
This is just the start of the planning process for Finals Fest. Additionally, SG must coordinate with all participating organizations, contact outside vendors, create a schedule with graphics and advertise the event to the campus.
All of this hard work does not go unnoticed by the student body, as many rely on the Finals Fest activities as a way to motivate themselves to get through the last weeks of the semester.
“For me, Finals Fest always provides a good study break and distraction from the stress of finals,” senior elementary education and mathematics double major Carissa O’Larte said.
Everyone has their own favorite part of Finals Fest. Whether it’s the free food giveaways, the stress relief of making arts and crafts or the chance to watch their fellow students perform, everyone can find what helps them distress.
Junior psychology major Olivia Pruznick cited the free food giveaways as the way she sets up her personal reward system for taking studying breaks and getting through her work.
“The free bagels, pizza and the stress relief dogs are really the only way I manage to get through exams each semester,” Pruznick said.
There are also some new changes coming to Finals Fest this year. With the construction in the Brower Student Center making it difficult for students to access the space, Finals Fest will be held almost completely outside this year, according to White.
“We try to make Finals Fest bigger and better every year,” she said. “I think these new changes will actually enhance the event, and possibly remain permanent… (for) Finals Fest.”
Another new addition to the Finals Fest schedule is that SG will be adding a Halo Farms ice cream pint giveaway to the schedule. One-hundred fifty lucky students will be able to snag their own free pint of the locally-made ice cream.
Although some new changes are coming to the end-of-semester festival, students shouldn’t worry since the tradition of free pizza and bagels will continue.
SG and the rest of the participating organizations have really stepped up their game, programing wise this year, White said. She noted that the student organizations participating in this year’s Finals Fest have come through with a lot of great new ideas for the end of semester festivities. Final exams are often daunting and stressful, but the difficult times are made a little easier when you are able to enjoy midnight pizza.