By Kjersti Andreassen, News Writer

Dead week — beginning this Monday — is the week before finals start. Many schools cancel classes to let students cram for exams, but at PLU, classes go on right until the start of final exams.

The Network for Peacebuilding and Conflict Management (NPCM) will offer dead week events to help relieve stress — with hot cocoa and bubble wrap.

“A very large part of being human is trying to achieve inner peace,” junior Amanda Brasgalla from NPCM said.

She said that during dead week, the club is hosting an event she hopes will help people look up from their homework and de-stress a little.

“We know everyone will be extremely stressed,” Brasgalla said. “Coming from a very stressed person, stress relief is very important.” She said that too much stress can be counter-productive and act as a block keeping you from being productive and learning well.

Students say dead week is a week known for peaking stress levels, heightened caffeine intake and students taking up temporary residence in the library, which is open 24/7 that week.

According to, excessive stress is linked not only to severe physical afflictions like heart disease, cancer and liver failure, but can also foster serious mental and emotional problems.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that more than 10 percent of college students nationwide have been diagnosed or treated for depression or anxiety in the last year. The organization identified suicide as the second leading cause of death on college campuses, as opposed to the eighth leading cause of death in the nation as a whole.

NPCM’s stress relief begins Wednesday in the Regency Room of the Anderson University Center, from 6 p.m. onward, and is open to anyone in the PLU community.

Brasgalla said there is no need to stay for the whole event. “You can come for 20 minutes or half an hour,” she said, inviting people to duck out from the library and spend some time investing in their personal productivity and peace of mind.

The event will feature bubble wrap for students to stomp on, home-made hot packs and a hot cocoa bar, Brasgalla said. “It will be fun,” she said with a grin.

“We want people to see that, hey, you can still hang out with your friends and relax, then keep working and possibly feel a little bit better about it,” she said. “This is a way for everyone to come if they want to.”

Club members originally wanted to bring in puppies for students to play with as a form of stress relief, but that was against PLU policy.

NPCM seeks to promote peace, and has hosted several peace-related lectures this fall. According to its website, NPCM not only puts on events devoted to global peace, but also aims to actively cultivate peace within the PLU community.

“We try to promote peace on all levels,” Brasgalla said. ◼︎

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