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'Cry Closet' Installed for Finals at University of Utah

April 26, 2018
 
 

Text of installation in University of Utah library reads, "A safe place for stressed-out students otherwise known as the cry closet. This space is meant to provide a place for students studying for finals to take a short 10-minute break. Rules of the closet: 1. Knock before entering. 2. Only one person in the closet at a time. 3. Limit your time in the closet to no more than 10 minutes. 4. Turn lights and timer off before leaving. 5. Use #cryclosetuofu if posting on social media. Artist: Nemo Miller in collaboration with Tony Miller and David Meyer."As finals week approaches and students try to learn a semester's worth of information in a few days, it’s likely many will have the inclination to weep. But with campus libraries teeming with students, it can be tricky to locate a private space to shed a tear.

A student at the University of Utah has invented a solution to the pressure of finals week, which begins at the college today: a library “cry closet.”

Nemo Miller, a senior in the fine arts program, installed the closet in Utah's library Sunday. The installation will remain in the library until finals week ends May 2, spokeswoman Jana Cunningham said in an interview. Miller was profiled as a Human of the U last week.

The closet went viral on Twitter after its announcement. Miller was unavailable for an interview, as she was studying for finals, but she expressed excitement about the reception to her work on Twitter and provided a statement Wednesday: "I am interested in humanity and the inherent complexities of the human condition. In my work, I reflect on my experiences and explore what it means to be human. One aspect of humanity that I am currently exploring is connections and missed connections through communication. It’s been interesting to watch the response to this piece about human emotions, and I’m proud to see the power of art in action.”

The installation, called Safe Place for Stressed Out Students Otherwise Known as The Cry Closet, has five rules: Knock before entering, only one person in the closet at a time, limit your time in the closet to no more than 10 minutes, turn lights and timer off before leaving, and use the hashtag #cryclosetuofu if posting on social media.

Students are encouraged to use the closet, Cunningham said.

"You can cry, scream, look your phone and decompress, and hopefully you come out feeling a little better in this crazy week of finals," Cunningham said.

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