One Ton Sundae-level crowds flocked to the Finals Care Fair Wednesday, hosted by Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) and University of Connecticut Student Government (USG), for all the free things and comfort food they’ll need to make it through finals week.
Food and giveaways are always a big draw for students, and this event proved that USG and SHaW are clearly well aware of that fact. The fair had two separate food stations. The first was to appeal to students’ sweet tooth with a hot chocolate bar, complete with marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate chips and sprinkles and a wide selection of cookies. The other station was surprisingly healthy for a UConn event: A yogurt bar, complete with every topping imaginable, and jugs of water.
“It’s pretty cool that we have healthy options to eat; I’m really digging that,” Elizabeth Sagers, a fifth-semester chemical engineering and Spanish double major, said.
The booths also provided some food, namely candy and munchkins, but mainly drew students with their giveaways. USG’s really nice to-go coffee cups stuffed with school supplies were a big hit with students, especially since most free water bottle giveaways tend to be cheaply made. SHaW’s essential oil table drew some of the largest crowds, but its other five-minute destressor activity table was less crowded and just as nice. This table gave out five-minute activities like little plastic, metal and paper puzzles — the plastic one cutely revealed the words, “Be well. Feel well. Do well,” when lined up — as well as chocolates, tea and puppy videos.
“I really like to get some free stuff,” Sagers said.
Other organizations, like Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services, the Rainbow Center, WHUS and the UConn School of Pharmacy also worked to give students fun giveaways like stress toys, earbuds, school supplies and stickers.
Other booths provided students with activities to do while they were at the fair. Tables were covered in coloring supplies for students to use at their leisure, a photo booth was set up in the corner with fun props and one station even allowed students to sign up for massages.
“I think [the Finals Care Fair is important] because a lot of people are stressed out and they need something to distract them from all that,” Orly Nobilio, a seventh-semester digital media and design major, said.
While the event worked to de-stress students, the crowds who came ended up being a major stressor. The line to get into the fair was five people thick and stretched all the way from the SU Ballroom to the Rainbow Center. Inside it wasn’t much better, with the essential oil booth nearly untouchable due to the mob it drew. The hot cocoa line lingered around 15 people long for much of the event as well. Due to this, many students got the free stuff they could easily get and left. Despite the staggering number of students at the event, some booths were relatively ignored in favor of others, which made talking to those manning those tables and taking the free goodies a lot easier.
At the end of the day, students that braved the line came out with sugar rushes, toys and school supplies, and hopefully a little less stress than when they came in.
Rebecca Maher is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.