The University of Utah Now Has a 'Cry Closet' for 'Stressed Out Students'

Nemo Miller, a senior at the University of Utah, has created a safe space for students to let it all out, amid final exams and general stress issues.

Cry Closet University of Utah

Image via Getty/Photofusion

Cry Closet University of Utah

The University of Utah has a new safe space for students to let it all out. Unlike traditional safe spaces created or demanded by students of the millennial generation, the Cry Closet is exactly what it sounds like—a small closet that allows only one person at a time, as opposed to a safe space room or communal area. According to USA Today, the woodwork project constructed by senior Nemo Miller, Tony Miller, and David Meyer, was placed in the school’s library on Sunday—to mixed reactions.

The past ten years have seen a shift in emotional sensitivity across the Western Hemisphere, with certain campuses attempting to assuage anxiety and depression levels of students by offering quiet places to process their emotions. The Cry Closet, which is aimed at “stressed out students,” was created to provide a breather to those most emotionally affected by the stress and anxiety fostered by exams or other mental health issues.

“The space is meant to provide a place for students studying for finals to take a short 10-minute break,” a statement on the Cry Closet’s door reads. The rules are simple: one person at a time, 10 minutes max, knock before entering and turn the lights off when you leave. The closet is decorated with stuffed animals and a black interior. 

While some students have publicly mocked the idea of anyone needing a closet to cry in, others have lauded the effort, semi-jokingly suggesting there should be a lot more of these places on school property.


so my school installed a cry closet in the library LMFAOOOOOOOOO what is higher education

— j (@wwwjacksdotcom) April 24, 2018

There needs to be 50 of these and they all need to be in the math building.

— the grinch (@fratti_natti) April 24, 2018

Random fact... this is the side view

— Dev Khalid (@DevxKhalid) April 25, 2018

Nemo Miller, meanwhile, is delighted with his project and believes it has the power to get people talking—even if only about their reactions to the piece. “One aspect of humanity that I am currently exploring is connections and missed connections through communication,” he wrote in a statement. “It’s been interesting to watch the response to this piece about human emotions, and I’m proud to see the power of art in action.” 

USA Today reports that while university actually claimed the closet was an attempt at humor, it was also installed as a “work of art meant to provoke feeling, thought & conversation, which the artist has apparently done.” Whatever the motivation here might’ve been, we live in an era where, unfortunately, the simple addition of offering a space to cry might prevent someone from doing themselves or others harm. In case anyone out there needs a quiet place, the closet will stay put until May 2. 

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