We have almost made it! The end of the semester is upon us. We asked a few college ministers to share with us some of their ideas of how they serve students and the events they have during this time.
“Here at ASU Downtown our staff and student leader team put on a “Christmas Whiteout party” to close the school semester. We host this event the last week of classes heading into finals. Students come for a free dinner, fun games and a brief gospel presentation. The goal of this event is multilayered. First it is our desire for students to come together and celebrate the end of the year and have a space of respite from their finals prep. We host a catered dinner where they can have a meal together and often prayer requests are being shared at the table for various exams. Second, we also see this as our final outreach opportunity of the semester. Our leaders are encouraged to invite their peers and perhaps any new friends who have yet to attend any of our events. Contacts are shared and students are encouraged to grab at least one contact of a new student that they will stay in touch with over the winter break. This way no student falls through the cracks or feels disconnected. This will be our second year hosting this event!”Ellie Lambert, Campus Missionary at Arizona State University, Downtown campus
“We like to serve students during finals week with “essential” items, like handing out free scantrons and coffee! We like to hand out coffee on a regular basis, but especially during tough weeks like finals, when students are typically most stressed. Sometimes a welcoming smile, a free scantron, and a little caffeine are all it takes to create long-lasting relationships with new students on campus from scratch!”Tyler McMurry, Basin BSM Director, TX
“When finals roll around and stress levels go up, we head to Costco and get snacks and junk food and make up some goodie bags. Delivered in person and with a smile, these can go a long way for students who feel overwhelmed!”Shaun Stotyn, Vine Campus Ministry and University of Vermont Director
“Every semester we have multiple study breaks during our dead week and one to start off finals week. Dead week study breaks are often daily midafternoon ‘themed’ snacks in our BCM student center. (Our campus does not allow student orgs to table during dead week or finals week). On the first day of finals week we have Monday Movie Marathon and Meals. We serve breakfast and lunch while a movie marathon plays all day in another part of our building. Coffee and snacks are available throughout the day as well. Students can come and go or stay all day. Some students will stay and study in our small rooms while some procrastinate with board games or ping pong. Our main objective for these study breaks is to love our students well by offering a relaxed experience during what is often-times a stressful and not-as-much-sleep couple of weeks. We don’t ask them to serve in any way during this time. Local churches provide the food and BCM staff set up, serve, and clean up.”Kimberly Andrews, University of Alabama
“At the University of Houston, there are two weeks of finals. Honestly, the second week is like the last mile of a marathon, ‘Why are we still doing this? Aren’t they done yet?’ The BSM staff have done several things over the years to care for students during these weeks.Shannon Lambert, University of Houston BSM Director
1. We have served alongside the school for their late night pancake event in the library. Just envision a full pep-rally in the library with breakfast afterwards.
2. The BSM has hosted its own late night pancake breakfast/study hall on the first night of finals.
3. We have the BSM open everyday with coffee, cocoa, and snacks available for students to come study.
4. As a staff we make sure that we are super available for giving hugs, encouragement, and a listening ear.
Out of all the ways we try to serve students, number 4 is the most important and often some of the dearest conversations.”