The Chapel, located in the middle of campus, offers a peaceful and relaxed environment for all students at the new de- stressing event. (graphic/file)

For many years Ohio Northern University students have gathered in the Chapel during Dead Week (the week before Finals Week) for an event known as Pack the Chapel. On Oct. 28, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. a new event known as the DE-Stress and Refresh night replaced Pack the Chapel. At the event, there will be stations set-up throughout the Chapel that will help students and the community relieve stress and refresh for the rest of the strenuous semester.

After experiencing low attendance levels and a lack of interest from the campus community, the Chapel decided to look back at the original purpose of Pack the Chapel, which was to hold an event that would allow students to de-stress from the demands and expectations of college life. In 2012, the event was moved to the McIntosh Center and was called “Pack the Mac.” Unfortunately, this continued to show no change in the attendance and led to the rearrangement of Pack the Chapel. The first DE-Stress and Refresh night will launch the start of a new tradition for Chapel events!

“Our goal as a staff is to make sure that all our events and programs have a distinct purpose, and that they are as effective as possible. If an event isn’t living up to its purpose, it’s time to either change the purpose, change the event, or let the event go by the wayside,” says David MacDonald, University Chaplain.

During Pack the Chapel, students would gather in the sanctuary to hear Religious Life groups perform, listen to devotionals and take a break from their studies. The new DE-Stress and Refresh night should be a transformation from listening and performing to a hands-on event that will prepare students for the rest of the semester. A few of the stations to be set-up in the Chapel include therapy dogs and games. Those who attend are welcome to stay for as long or short as they please. Hopefully, students and the community will feel they have a break from the stressful burden of exams and papers.

“Everyone deserves, needs and is encouraged to take a break. By hosting this event, I hope to show students that this is a place, time and space to take the breaks that each of us need and deserve,” says Lauren Frame, Program Coordinator for the Chapel.

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