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Graffiti project offers students stress release

December 9, 2012

By MATT CRANE
life@starkvilledailynews.com

The stress of finals week can be quite overwhelming for many students on the Mississippi State University campus, but the Center for Student Activities is offering an exciting, creative outlet for those hard-working scholars looking for a much-needed break.

Taking place in the Colvard Student Union art gallery, STRESS GraFREEti allows students the opportunity to relieve stress during finals through creative means by writing or drawing on specified gallery walls with highlighters that are illuminated by black lights.

Program Coordinator Amelia Treptow said many students have taken advantage of the artistic outlet in the short time the exhibit has been open.

"I've been blown away by how many students we've had come and participate in it," she said. "They've really given us good feedback."
With inspiration from other universities and impending gallery renovations, Treptow said the timing of the exhibit was the perfect opportunity to debut the exhibit.

"We partnered with the Peer Ambassadors from the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, the Diversity and Social Justice Committee from Housing and the Student Association, so it's been a big collaborative effort," she said. "It's cool to see everything from students writing about how stressed they are, then someone commenting on it saying they will be fine."

Treptow said creative exhibit is aimed at providing students an outlet from their final examinations and does not encourage true graffiti vandalism.

"In no way are we promoting actual graffiti, other than in our controlled environment," she said. "We are using the space and concept as a way to encourage students to take a break from studying and use creativity to de-stress, in order to help them focus during this important time academically."

As gallery manager, Treptow said she was excited about providing the outlet for students and strives to create more community through the works displayed in the Union.

"I am working toward making it more interactive for students and really trying to get them to engage with more, so this is a step in that direction," she said. "This is a unique opportunity for them to de-stress, express themselves, support fellow classmates through encouraging words and leave a mark here at Mississippi State."

The STRESS GraFREEti is open until Friday where students can draw from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, call 662-325-4041.

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