For stressed out students taking finals this week, the “cry closet” – created by a University of Utah art student – may be the therapy they need.
It’s not a joke. It’s an actual “safe space” for students as they head into the beginning of finals week at the U. The “cry closet,” situated in the bottom floor of the library, is a dimly lit space where students can hug a stuffed animal and release their academic apprehension – whether by crying, stress-snacking or hugging the stuffed animals provided inside.
Artist Nemo Miller made the closet in a wood shop class as a senior project. She said in a statement she wanted to explore the reaction to human emotion.
Reaction on social media has been swift and mixed.
“This is my home now,” one student tweeted of the “Cry Closet.”
Others berated U students for being “snowflakes,” suggesting they wouldn’t be able to handle the real world if finals have them stressed out enough to need a space for crying.
Still, most of the students found the piece amusing and interesting.
“For those who need it, I think it’s a good idea,” said student James Sawyer.
The piece is starting a big conversation.
“That’s what art does,” said University spokesperson Jana Cunningham. “It gives us a way to think – to question. That’s exactly what it’s doing.”
The “Cry Closet” has received national media attention, something the University and the artist did not expect. It will be on display until May 2 in the Marriott Library on the U’s campus.