Marshall Study Center helps students prepare for finals

During finals week, the Marshall Student Center becomes the Marshall Study Center. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

This week students will get to witness the Marshall Student Center (MSC) transform into the Marshall Study Center. Free food, massages and final review sessions along with a plethora of study spaces will be made available for students for finals preparation. 

Jen Hernandez, the associate director for operations for the MSC, said this program is as old as the building.

“This was actually started when we first opened the building, so it started in 2008,” Hernandez said. “Unfortunately, it’s the best kept secret, but that’s not what we want. It has evolved since 2008; it’s now a program that’s done in collaboration with Housing and Residential Education and Wellness.”

There are 16 total review sessions held at the MSC this week. The first one was held Wednesday and the last one is scheduled for Sunday. Professors from organic chemistry, accounting, biology, astronomy and more are holding sessions. Hernandez said the turnout to the sessions has improved this semester.

“The advertisement for the review sessions, and now that we are planning them earlier, the attendance to the review sessions is much greater,” Hernandez said. “From that perspective, it’s a positive response from students.”

As students know, the library can be very crowded and hectic during finals week, so the MSC offers an alternative that may be easier. 

“Collaboratively, as an institution, we want to provide as many spaces for students to be able to study and many options,” Hernandez said. “Some people don’t necessarily like to study in the library, and maybe they’re more comfortable here.” 

Isabella Lopes, a junior majoring in psychology, said she has utilized the review sessions offered before and, overall, enjoys the Marshall Study Center.

“I usually go to at least one review session every semester and they’re always really helpful,” Lopes said. “Having extra space for quiet studying is helpful, because the library is always packed during this time.”

According to Hernandez, the MSC is not only focusing on providing study space and resources, but rather on supporting students as a whole.

“We really try to look at the whole student from the point of ‘here’s a place to study, here’s stress relief time, here’s food, because you’re going to need to eat too,’” Hernandez said. “So, we try to look at the whole picture.

“The best way I can phrase it is it’s a holistic approach to finals, really looking at what your intake is. We’re offering free fruit during review sessions. We did actually decrease our hours of staying open until 2, because the idea is we do want you to get some sleep and not promoting being up all night.”

Hernandez said not many students are aware of everything the MSC offers. However, Savannah Mobley, a senior transfer student majoring in environmental science and policy said she’s looking forward to experiencing it for the first time. 

“This is my first semester at USF and I’m really excited to try it out and see what they offer,” Mobley said. “It seems like a really cool program.”

Hernandez said this program is supported by a number of departments and the school really works together to do this for the students. 

“This is one of our premiere programs, because we do collaborate with several departments,” Hernandez said. “The Marshall Center continues to work collaboratively with dining, wellness, and Housing and Residential Education to provide that whole experience for students.”