Sometimes what college students need most is a NAP.
That is, a Night Against Procrastination, usually called Long Night Against Procrastination – started at a German university in 2010 and introduced this spring with great success at Bethel College.
Barbara Thiesen, co-director of libraries, read about LNAP in a professional journal. It started with a student’s request to campus writing center staff for an all-night tutoring and assistance session.
Colleges and universities across North America have picked up on the idea since, mostly offering help to students struggling to finish – or even start – end-of-term papers.
“I sent the article to Ami [Regier, professor of literary studies], Dan [Quinlin, director of the Center for Academic Development] and Paige [coordinator of First-Year Success], all of whom liked the idea,” Thiesen said. “Paige was the one who pushed us to actually try it.”
Nearly a quarter of Bethel’s student body turned the library into a campus hub between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. April 30-May 1. Writing faculty were on hand, as well as student tutors in almost all disciplines.
There were regular breaks (since, as Regier said, “To stay alert, you need one every 45 minutes”) – once for pizza, once for “desk yoga” led by Thiesen and once for a quick game of Minute to Win It.
Students were invited to write their goal for the evening on a piece of paper, stick it to one of two dart boards and keep advancing toward “bulls-eye.” Those who came closest got prizes at the end.