For over ten years the Office of the Chaplaincy has sought to provide a place of rest and relaxation during final exams. As students prepare for tests, write papers, and study into the early morning hours each semester, Study Break for the Soul has become an important tradition in the final exam routine of many Spiders. Offered each semester on the first Tuesday of finals, the event hosts between 200 to 350 students in the Wilton Center.

Students are drawn to the event for many reasons but one commonly cited by attendees is the puppies! Each semester Caring Canines, a local therapy dog organization here in Richmond, joins us on campus and students have an opportunity to forget about their stress for a moment and spend some time with cuddly, four pawed distractions.

Another popular offering of Study Break is the food! Since the beginning of Study Break for the Soul, the program has featured a menu of student study snack favorites and groups of students settle into the Multifaith Room of the Wilton Center for hours at a time talking, studying and filling their plate with all kinds of goodies. In the spring semester live music is provided by a jazz ensemble and students spill outside onto the Multifaith Room patio to enjoy music and sunshine while they eat.

The event also features chair massages for students, offered by massage therapists and supported by the Weinstein Center for Recreation. In recent years the Office of the Chaplaincy has partnered with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) on campus and the Chaplaincy and CAPS interns offer crafts and other stress relieving activities such as painting, coloring, letter writing, and jewelry making.  The event also incorporates a schedule of wellness activities offered by University staff and faculty including yoga, mindful stretching, meditation and Qigong.

We know finals can be a stressful season for our students and the Office of the Chaplaincy is committed to doing all we can to support their well-being as they prepare!