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Comforting Or Crazy? This College Has A ‘Cry Closet’ In The Library Filled With Stuffed Animals
If students are feeling overwhelmed or stressed and need a good cry - they can head to the cry closet.
Cedric Jackson
04.30.18

Have you ever been somewhere and felt so overwhelmed by stress and frustration that you just needed a good place to cry?

Apparently, a lot of people feel this way at the University of Utah, so the staff created a cry closet where students can go to take some time to cry in private.

Twitter/@aJackieLarsen
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Twitter/@aJackieLarsen

When news of the cry closet first came out, some people didn’t take it seriously.

Surely such a thing didn’t exist? One student talked about the cry closet, saying:

“My friend Hunter told me about the closet and I didn’t believe her initially. Then we took a study break to go check it out.”

Sure enough, there really is a cry closet at the college. The sign on the front of it reads:

“This space is meant to provide a place for students studying for finals to take a short 10-minute break.”

Of course, this cry closet has rules. You can find them on the door, too. They are:

“1. Knock before entering

“2. Only one person in the closet at a time

“3. Turn lights and timer off before leaving

“4. Use #cryclosetuofu if posting on social media.”

Twitter/@aJackieLarsen
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Twitter/@aJackieLarsen

So, what does a cry closet look like?

Well, it’s basically just a closet in the middle of a room. A few students who have been inside it have described it. One said:

“The walls are covered with carpetlike material and some insulation to make it somewhat soundproof. The door has lights you can press to turn on, as well as a timer.”

Twitter/@aJackieLarsen
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Twitter/@aJackieLarsen

Don’t worry about feeling lonely inside the closet: there are plenty of stuffed animals to keep you company.

They also come in handy if you need to hug them or bury your face in them while you have a breakdown.

A representative from the University of Utah explained the reason for the cry closet. He said:

“The installation, available for use by all students, has sparked dialogue about expressing emotions, particularly those in public spaces. It is an example of how art has the power to catalyze important conversations and engage the public.”

University of Utah
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University of Utah

The closet was actually made by a senior named Nemo Miller, who is in the College of Fine Arts.

She made it in her woodshop class.

Miller talked about it, saying:

“I am providing a space for students who are studying during finals week to go take a five- to ten-minute break in a nice cushy … soft environment away from all the harsh lights of the library.”

While the closet is designed for students, it’s also available to the faculty. Teaching isn’t easy, and they can get overwhelmed, too. Maybe a good cry could help them teach better?

Twitter/@aJackieLarsen
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Twitter/@aJackieLarsen

While the cry closet intrigues most people, and a few have even used it, not everyone is onboard with it.

Some people are claiming it is ridiculous and that grown adults don’t need closets full of stuffed animals to cry on. They worry that the closet may be more of a distraction during test times and finals week or that it may be sending the wrong message to people.

Facebook/Andrew Reeser
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Facebook/Andrew Reeser

Love it or hate it, the cry closet is definitely a unique piece of art.

If it can help someone handle their exams or a rough week of school, then where’s the harm? The cry closet is only temporary, though. It will be on display and available to students until May 3. Anyone who feels like they need a good cry in a dark place had better take advantage of it while it’s available. Just remember to shut the door.

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By Cedric Jackson
hi@sbly.com
Cedric Jackson is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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