Study Hub provides alternative studying event

By Lillian Barkley, Features Editor

 Students who are sick of the library will have an alternative opportunity to study for midterms this week.

Study Hub, an event coordinated by Spoon University and Grubhub, will provide free food, drinks and other amenities from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday at Espresso Royale, 1117 W. Oregon St., Urbana.

 “It’s really just a way to provide an alternative space to study. Kids are just going to the library, it’s pretty boring to be there. It doesn’t really spark creativity; it’s silent,” said Lauren Eiden, Spoon University UIUC Marketing Director. Eiden is senior in Media and former Illini Media employee.

There will be free food provided by Grubhub from Wingin Out, Joe’s Brewery, Jimmy John’s, Insomnia Cookies and Cream and Flutter. Unlimited drinks from anything on the Espresso Royale menu will be provided by Spoon University.

 “It’s one of those good coffee shops in town that everyone likes to go to,” Eiden said. “We chose the places we thought people would want as a study snack.”

 Food and drink are not the only thing that sets this event apart from a typical study session, however.

 “We also had to think about alternative things students would want at the event without making it too distracting at the same time, since it is about studying,” Eiden said. Live music, for example, would be too distracting.

 Instead, Spoon University UIUC decided to add a food-themed coloring board, photo booth and two massage stations with professional masseuses from Green Yoga Spa in Urbana.

 “We wanted outlets instead,” Eiden said. “We have a creative outlet with the coloring board; we have a stress outlet with the masseuses doing private sessions throughout the night. Things like that … to make a more comfortable study space.”

Divya Mohlajee, senior in Business, said she was interested in the event when she saw it on Facebook.

“The free coffee really reeled me in because I’m a broke college student,” she said. “I think what makes it stand out is massages and an adult coloring board.”

Additional giveaways including water bottles, pillows, headphones and keychains are also meant to improve the atmosphere, Eiden said. Warm mood lighting will be also added to Espresso Royale to relax students.

 This is the first Study Hub event to be held at the University, though similar events are being held at other Big 10 universities.

“I’m a senior, and I feel like I’ve never seen anything like this,” Mohlajee said.

 More than 200 students attended the StudyHub event at Michigan State University last week.

“Our goal originally was 200, but we’re really trying to get 300 or more people at this event throughout the night,” Eiden said.

The event is not limited to students — an iCard is not required, and community members are also encouraged to come. Attendees will need to provide their name and email to get a wristband entitling them to the free event.

“If a ton of people show up and it’s overcrowded … it won’t be as much of a studying event and people will just be socializing,” Mohlajee said.

Mohlajee said she had a midterm to study for on Tuesday, and Study Hub would be a better studying experience, especially with fewer people.

“I think this event will be a good break from me studying alone in the UGL on the silent floor,” she said. “It’s changing the negative connotations with midterms and studying.”

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