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Art student creates ‘Cry Closet’ for stressed out college students during finals

SALT LAKE CITY – An art installation at the University of Utah campus is turning heads and sparking a buzz on social media during finals week.

At Marriott Library, students fill the floors with the sounds of flipping through books, reciting facts and information, and shuffling through notes. They're summing up a semester's worth of work, in preparation for their brains to be picked.

"We have two tests tomorrow and then another one on Friday, and then another one next Wednesday," U of U freshman Chidi Ahanonu told KSTU.

"They load us up with finals like you wouldn't believe," said Jayden Skinner, another freshman studying biomedical engineering.

Crying might be heard as the stress and pressure builds up.

Ahanonu said there's certainly, "the need to relieve some stress."

In the middle of a walkway at Marriott, graduating College of Fine Arts senior Nemo Miller built a space just for that: The Cry Closet.

The makeshift room features a narrow door, and inside, dark fabric lining and a plush floor filled with stuffed animals. A timer hangs on the inside of the door, and two dome lights provide low ambient light.

On the outside of the door, a framed page reads: "A Safe Place for Stressed Out Students."

"This space is meant to provide a place for students studying for finals to take a short 10-minute break," the note states.

On Wednesday evening, students stopped at The Cry Closet to take pictures and step inside. While some laughed at the novelty, others checked it out with quiet reflection.

Those who have seen it took to Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook to share pictures and talk about the small safe space.

Skinner said that's how he found out about The Cry Closet. Others, like Ahanonu, happened to wander by and noticed the curious pop-up room.

There are a few simple rules to abide by, outlined on the door. They include: Knock before entering, only one person in the room at a time and don't stay longer than 10 minutes.

"It's a great place to just come and decompress, and that's really what it's for," said Jana Cunningham with the U of U communications office.

She said the university offers counseling to students who are feeling especially overwhelmed, but that The Cry Closet is great for students who need a moment in all the stress.

While students like Ahanonu and Skinner said they themselves might not use the room, they think it's a great idea.

"I just think it's good to be able to get away for a minute," Skinner said.

The Cry Closet will stay in its spot for students to use until May 2.


  • Milton Levine

    Amazing how these snowflakes continue to expose their lack of reality. Blame this on the parents, the schools? Sorry, I don’t know. However, they’re in deep trouble already and not even out into the real world.

  • adalagarzi

    These kids are not going to survive in the real world. I really don’t want to sound harsh, but I mean this in the literal sense. Think about it: They’re under stress, working at a nuclear power plant, there’s about 5 different problems, the rod is cracked, etc. How do they handle the problem without a cry closet? They can’t. They have conditioned themselves to retreat when they’re under stress. The Nuclear analytics professor is in the closet while everyone else is putting on hazmat suits and trying to run away.

    This is a sign of how far we’ve come. We’ve built towers that touch the clouds, we’ve landed on the moon, harnessed the power of electricity, and utilized nuclear energy, only for a generation to cry in a closet when things get tough.

    This is the generation that will inherit the earth. This is the future.

    • adalagarzi

      I like how you make it sound like I’m the Illuminati of the WNEP comment section. Although it confirms that you have the intellect of a potato and severe paranoia, you never cease to flatter me with titles and accusations that make me out to be an internet super villain.

      • Rusty Knyffe

        Adalagarzi, it’s interesting to note that the nameless one has posted no less than 13 direct remarks to me, personally, accusing me of being a body cavity, a bigot, a tool, and making multiple accounts to reply on this news site. I’ve seen this, before, and this individual is one of “those people” that lose their minds if they feel that their views or opinions are, in any way, being threatened, especially with logic. This individual is the first one to resort to name-calling and back-pedaling and s/he doesn’t have the ability or mastery of articulation to present an opposing view or opinion on the topic, at hand.

        This is why this individual gets their undies all in a bunch when they read something that threatens their flawed system of beliefs. Instead of shutting up, contemplating, and responding with well-presented arguments, they dissolve into petty, sophomoric, and outrageous online behavior. My bet is that this individual doesn’t dare behave like this in Real Life. Or, perhaps, they actually do and it explains the level and depth of their personal rage.

        Whatever the issues are with that nameless individual, even a re-tard could tell the differences between the posts that they insist come from one person. What an empty, miserable, and tragic life. Maybe, this individual received too many participation trophies or spent too much time in a crying closet to recognize fact from fiction. Or, they might just be a jerk. Whatever it is, it’s entertaining, at the least. Some of the posters that I’ve been accused of being (ROFL!!!) are pretty erudite in their own rights, and I’m flattered to be counted amongst them.

        Hopefully, the nameless individual will get the help that they need for their control issues, rage issues, and malignant narcissism.

      • Rusty Knyffe

        To clarify: that would be no less than 13 direct insults made to me, personally, in less than a week. Pretty pitiful, I’d say. In fact, I DO say it’s pitiful when facts and truths are too much for someone to handle. It all began with a comment that I made about the gas industry using methane as a source of power. My post began with, “Not to support the gas industry….” and the rest is digital history. ROTFLMAO!!! I just envision this tiny fat bald guy eating a jar of mayonaise and playing Devil May Cry for 16 hours at a time while their L0lly pillow stares at them. OMIGOSH, LMAO!!!!!!!!!

  • Rusty Knyffe

    I cannot believe what I’ve just read to be true or accurate. I simply can’t. If this notion is, in fact, true, what do these people expect to experience out in the Real World where there are no “safe spaces,” or “cry closets?” What kinds of people are in colleges, these days? These are the very same people who, upon graduation, actually expect to enter into a position of employment that provides a $40K annual salary, 2 weeks paid vacation, health benefits, and bonus packages, and yet they need cry closets and safe spaces!!! Oh. My. Gawd.

    Finals are a tough and demanding time. Tough, that is to write, “Tough Sh*t And Deal With It.” These people are not the first to experience the stress of finals and to complain by saying, “They load us up with finals like you wouldn’t believe,” is the most infantile observation possible. “THEY” aren’t looking to ruin lives (for the most part). “THEY,” being the faculty and professors, are fighting a losing battle to make certain that graduates are educated and prepared to meet the Real World.

    • adalagarzi


      “Hi, I’m Jimbrony. I don’t like long and detailed explanations that elaborate on why the person believes what they do. Reading hurts my eyes, and my brain. Everyone be like me, and don’t elaborate on your views because it hurts my eyes!”

      If someone climbed your Chromosome count, and jumped to your IQ level, they’d probably kill themselves.

    • Rusty Knyffe

      Adalagarzi, I didn’t see this one until now. Spot on and s/he cannot help THEMselves. Watch. Wait for it. They won’t be able to stop themselves from typing a juvenile retort or hitting the “report comment” option. They cannot NOT do it. It’s because of intense control issues, fear, and perceived undermining of their flawed beliefs.

      So, let them go on and believe what they want. It’s actually mounting evidence that this individual should probably get some counseling or have their medications adjusted.

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