David J. Hawkins
Students took a moment away from studying for finals to relax at Crunch Time in the University Student Union (USU) Grand Salon. Crunch Time offered free food, crafts, study kits, massages and acupuncture as a support system for the final weeks of the semester.
“The purpose of Crunch Time is to give students a break so that students can come and enjoy what we have to offer,” said Samantha Simons, special event assistant.
Crunch Time takes place every semester around finals week. This semester, the event started earlier so students could prepare themselves by studying earlier, writing reports, completing group presentations and projects.
Students gathered at the front of the Grand Salon and picked up a red bag full of goodies that included a green book, a pencil, sharpener and scantron in order to be prepared for finals.
Candy and snacks such as M&M’s and Oreo cookies were also handed out.
After that, many took part in different activities. For those wanting to get a stress-relieving experience, there was free massage therapy, acupuncture therapy and a Zen garden.
“New elements that were added to Crunch Time was a labyrinth for students to use for meditation and a tea bar so students can drink tea and take some tea packets with them to keep calm and stay in control during finals,” Simons said.
Clarissa Engeron, senior kinesiology major, said she was sitting at the USU when a member of the event staff invited her in.
“I came in for the massage and I was glad that I did because it felt good and was relaxing during this time of finals,” she said.
The highlight of Crunch Time was the Zen garden, where students could create their own garden using different kinds of colored sand, pebbles and a small rake to create the garden.
Sophomore English major Perla Dominguez, event volunteer, talked about the popularity of the Zen garden and the effect that it had over students.
“I was surprised by the amount of students wanting to create their own Zen garden,” she said. “The reason why I think it was such a hit was because it was an arts and crafts activity and something that every student can participate in.”
Helen Sanchez, freshman business management major, said creating the Zen garden was a fun and different experience.
“It’s nice that CSUN has an event like this where students can come together to relieve the stress over the last weeks of classes and assignments and be able to make something to release the tension,” Sanchez said.
Carla Ballarto, freshman business management major, said she found out about Crunch Time through Twitter.
“I urged my friend to come here as well, since free food was provided and because it was something fun and new that I have never experienced before,” Ballarto said.
Crunch Time will continue through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Grand Salon.