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Campus Life

Gearing Up (and Cooling Down) During the Finals Crunch

BU to offer study halls, transportation, and even massage

More than 2,000 BU students take advantage of tutoring services at the Educational Resource Center each year. Photo by John Walsh

First, the good news: semester break is just 10 days away. Now the bad news: before semester break come final exams, starting this Friday, December 15. As usual, the University is offering a variety of study resources and stress breaks, such as tutoring services, free coffee and snacks, stress management activities, special study halls, and a 24-hour finals schedule at Mugar Memorial Library — complete with a shuttle van to get home.

The Educational Resource Center (ERC) is providing Coffee@finals drop-in tutoring sessions in calculus, statistics, chemistry, economics, and physics on Thursday, December 14, Friday, December 15, and Sunday, December 17, from 8 to 11 p.m. in CAS Room 319. Drop-in tutoring for math takes place at the ERC, on the fourth floor of the GSU, on Mondays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The last scheduled appointment day for the ERC Writing Center, which helps students hone their writing skills, is December 14. But students who need someone to proofread their papers should look elsewhere. “The Writing Center assists students with issues of grammar and style and organization and structure — not proofreading,” says Virginia Schaffer, ERC assistant director.

The ERC, which is open seven days a week, offers peer tutoring throughout the year in 200 different courses. “Having students my age go though material with me helped a lot, and I felt that I could be completely honest during the tutoring sessions,” says human physiology major Rachel Cloutier (SAR’07), who has gotten help from the program in two chemistry classes and a math class.

Many school and college departments run their own tutoring programs, including the College of Arts and Sciences computer science department, the CAS department of mathematics and statistics, the CAS writing program, and the College of Engineering’s undergraduate programs office, which will provide tutoring on Monday, December 11, from 5 to 11 p.m., and on Thursday, December 14, from 2 to 5 p.m. A separate tutoring center, in ENG Room 205, for students in the course Engineering Mechanics I, is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 4 to 10 p.m. “This is a required course for all engineering students,” says James Langell, director of the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering. “More than 300 students take it. In most cases it’s their first engineering course, and it’s rather difficult.” The Ingalls Engineering Resource Center, at 44 Cummington St., which has study rooms and computer terminals, is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., until December 22.

Stress management
For students who have been hitting the books so hard it hurts, the Office of Residence Life’s Wellness and Residential Education office is hosting a WellBreak on Wednesday, December 13, from noon to 4 p.m., at 19 Deerfield St. Students can drop in for snacks or to play games

“If you’re feeling stressed about an upcoming test or deadline, the best response is to plan and prepare and utilize that energy to do your best to succeed, not to worry and obsess about the issue,” says Beth Grampetro, health and wellness educator at the Office of Residence Life. “Students should try to identify which final exams are stressing them out the most and create a plan for dealing with that stress,” such as attending a study group or seeking extra help from a professor.

As part of its Walk-In Wednesday program, the Wellness and Residential Education office is offering a Reiki workshop on Wednesday, December 13, from 4 to 5 p.m., at 19 Deerfield St. Reiki is a Japanese therapeutic touch technique to reduce stress and induce relaxation.

Study halls

The Dean of Students Office is sponsoring several study halls: the Metcalf Ballroom in the GSU turns into a giant study hall from December 13 through December 20, from 7 to 11 p.m., and the Student Activities Office is hosting its own study hall at the Sargent Activities Center, 1 University Rd., on December 14 and 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call GSU operations at 617-353-5498 or the Student Activities Office at 617-353-3635.

Mugar Memorial Library extended hours and van shuttle
From Tuesday, December 12, at 11:59 p.m., through Tuesday, December 19, at 6 a.m., Mugar Memorial Library will be open 24 hours a day. From midnight to 6 a.m., the library will provide a van service for any BU student on campus who wants a ride home. For more information on the shuttle, which will make periodic pick-ups at the front steps of the library, call 617-353-4015.

Computer Labs

The PC Lab at 111 Cummington St. will be open 24 hours a day during finals, through December 19. This facility has more than 125 PCs and printing facilities.

BU’s ResNet computer labs are available for use by students with a valid BU ID, and consultants are on hand to answer questions and to provide assistance. The Windows PCs in the lab are connected to the ACS quota system, allowing users to print to their laser printers and deduct the cost from their print quota. Applications available in the labs include Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and Pagemaker, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, Contribute, GhostScript, X-Win32, SPSS, and AOL Instant Messenger.

ResNet labs are located at Warren Towers, Rich Hall, the Towers, Myles Standish Hall, the Student Village, and in the basement of 504 Park Drive, Extended hours are on a lab-by-lab basis. For information on other computer labs on campus, click here.

Brian Fitzgerald can be reached at bfitzger@bu.edu.
Meghan Noé can be reached at mdorney@bu.edu.