News Service


Stephanie Chervinko, Adult Learner and Commuter Student Programs, (515) 294-2364
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- The Legos are back. A popular hands-on activity to help students deal with the stress of "dead week," Legos are but one activity Iowa State University will be offering in "stress-free zones."

Stress-free zones are areas on campus where students can escape the stresses of preparing presentations, writing papers, working on projects and preparing for finals -- all due by the end of the semester. Stress-free zones will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 10, to Friday, Dec. 12.

"Any student who is trying to survive end-of-semester anxiety attacks can find relief in any of the stress-free zones, " said Stephanie Chervinko, stress-free zone planning committee member.

A "playroom" in the Memorial Union will be the best spot for students who need to "get goofy to have fun and relax," Chervinko said. The playroom will be located in the northwest study lounge in the Union, where students can enjoy such activities as racing cars, shooting dart guns, molding Playdough, coloring in color books and building with Legos.

A more soothing environment can be found at the Sloss House, which will provide meditation videos and music, herbal tea and aroma therapy. "This zone is for those who need peace and quiet to relax," Chervinko said.

The Sloss House also will provide "progressive relaxation," a technique that focuses on specific body areas until the whole body is relaxed. Members of the ISU community will conduct 10-minute guided imagery exercises that can make a person feel as rested as if they had taken a nap.

Chervinko said something new this year is the cultural touch.

"In the playroom, there will be cultural games, costumes and instruments for students to play with," she said. "Sloss House will have rain tree sticks and pillows from different countries to rest on."

All activities in the stress-free zones are free and open to all students.

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