“Study day” at Loyola University Maryland creates a unique campus-wide atmosphere, more students dress down for a studious day in slippers and sweats; Starbucks is a hub of paperwork and computers rather than lunch dates and coffee breaks.
Contributing to the relaxed mood before angst disrupts student’s spirits, The Women’s Center at Loyola, located at Seton Court, has implemented a 16-year tradition, since the opening of the center, to provide its students and faculty with free massages on this symbolic day, marking the end of the semester and the start of finals week. This fall of 2016, the center hosted its event on Tuesday, December 13. Knowing members of Loyola’s community feels the stress of writing, studying, and grading, the center has maintained this tradition as a means of momentary relief and relaxation.
This year, there were four masseuses hired to give 15 minute chair massages for each client. The event lasted from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Jennifer LaFalce, a second-year grad student in the clinical psychology master’s program at Loyola, has worked at the Women’s Center for over a year and noticed this semester that about 95% of the clients were students rather than a majority being faculty.
Because of its momentous status, the center advertises for its free massage day on Loyola Today, the electronic messaging boards, its newsletter, and sends a campus wide email about two weeks prior to the event so the students can email or call for appointments. The appointments get booked quickly, so it is recommended to be a part of the center’s emailing list. Sophomore, Rhys Schueren managed to get an appointment this semester that was scheduled by the center’s administrative assistant, Kathy Zulty, after reading the Loyola Today announcement. Schueren thought the event was a good way to help students feel rejuvenated, “I liked the relaxing music that they had in the background.”
As a study day event only, students and faculty have to wait until the spring 2017 semester to schedule an appointment. It is such an anticipated event, this past semester rumors had circulated amongst the students that it is not a study day-only service. Although it is exclusive to study day, the Women’s Center hosts other events and activities throughout the semester, which are advertised in its newsletter and on Loyola Today.