Students relieve pre-final tensions

Hollan Holm

Western students got a shot at relieving their finals-season pressure yesterday.

Over 180 students attended the Second Annual Stresstivus held on the Downing University Center’s North Lawn.

Health Education Coordinator Kathryn Steward said the purpose of the event was to give students a chance to have fun and relax during a stressful time in their semester. The last month of class is “crunch time,” Steward said.

“So many times, students don’t take time to unwind … they get bogged down,” Steward said.

A big draw for students was a dunking booth. It featured administrators, coaches, staff and faculty like President Gary Ransdell, Head Football Coach David Elson, Head Swim Team Coach Bill Powell and Parking Enforcement Officer Karen Thurman.

Each dunkee sat in the booth for 30-minute shifts as passersby took turns heaving softballs at a white circle to knock them in the water. There was no charge for anyone to throw.

Thurman, who writes parking tickets for the campus police, took her turn in the booth out of love.

“I love my job and love the university,” Thurman said. “I was glad to try something new one time, and this was it.”

At least one of the participants throwing at her had a motive other than love.

“The last guy dunked me four times and he had gotten four parking tickets,” Thurman said.

Some dunkees got off easier than Thurman. Ransdell spent 15 minutes in the booth without getting dunked.

“I was starting to get a little cocky,” Ransdell said. “I was wondering if we had any arms on this campus or not.”

At the end of his time, Ransdell had been dunked four times.

Graduate student Sreeramogu Prashanth from Hyderabad, India was the first to dunk him.

“It’s been fun,” Prashanth said.

But he didn’t need too much de-stressing because he said he’s “kind of a cool guy.”

The event was sponsored by Health Services and TopperWell, a student organization committed to health education.

In addition to the dunking booth, students had other opportunities to blow off steam. Coloring books, modeling clay and even the toy boxing game “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots” sat on tables for students to play.

Florence graduate student Bridget Trame came to dunk her psychology professor.

“No extra credit, this is sheer pleasure,” Trame said. “It’s nice being able to soak your professor.”

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