De-Stress Fest will help students unwind before finals week

NIU students enjoy games provided by The Gaming Goat during last year’s De-Stress Fest
NIU students enjoy games provided by The Gaming Goat during last year’s De-Stress Fest

Feeling the pressure of upcoming finals? Take a break at the NIU Anthropology Museum, which will be transformed into a “no-stress zone” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 28th.

Students can sip a cup of calming tea, play board games, participate in art activities, get free massages and enjoy guided meditation as well as Japanese Reiki. Relaxation stations will be located directly outside the museum and throughout Cole Hall.

The second annual “De-Stress Fest” is organized entirely by students for students. The Anthropology Museum Student Advocacy Board established this event last year to give students a place to relax while experiencing how cultures around the world manage stress.

“We are excited to bring back De-Stress Fest for 2015,” says Student Advocacy Board co-chair Karissa Kessen. “Whether students have a few minutes in between classes or an hour lunch break, they can come and try calming teas, have a quick massage and play games. We hope students can take the different de-stressing techniques and use them to relax and focus during finals week.”

Anthropology graduate student Nathan Cooley constructed Lego towers that were displayed in a pop-up exhibit at De-Stress Fest 2014.
Anthropology graduate student Nathan Cooley constructed Lego towers that were displayed in a pop-up exhibit at De-Stress Fest 2014.

Student Advocacy Board members gained real-world museum experience by identifying local businesses and approaching them to be program partners. Partners include, but are not limited to, The Gaming Goat, NIU Robotics Club, NIU Health Enhancement, Sycamore Integrated Health, Wise Owl Wellness and the NIU Geography Club.

Organized in 2013, the Museum Student Advocacy Board serves to boost campus awareness of the Anthropology Museum. Its members work closely with museum staff on outreach and publicity. They completed more than 100 surveys of NIU students in the winter of 2013 to better understand how the museum can be more relevant to students’ lives.

“The Anthropology Museum celebrates cultural diversity in everything it does, from preserving rare and wonderful objects from cultures around the world to curating exhibits for visitors and teaching students with hands-on experiences,” says museum director Jennifer Kirker Priest.

“Since educational exhibits don’t necessarily bring students into the museum by themselves, the Student Advocacy Board helps to envision bold new ways the museum can reach out to NIU students as a place where they can come to learn about things like how activist anthropology can empower local communities from Haiti to DeKalb. It’s also a place where they can come for free, fun programs.”

For more event information, please contact the co-chair of the Student Advocacy Board, Katy Voight, at katyvoight1@gmail.com or the Anthropology Museum at (815) 753-2520.

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