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Students fill libraries, coffee cups for finals

As finals week looms, students cramming for exams aren’t just filling campus libraries. They’re also filling their coffee cups.

The Saturday before finals week, coffee sales at campus coffee shops increase between $1,000 and $2,000 from a normal Saturday, and by Sunday, sales are up between $3,000 and $4,000, said Kathy Grant, the operations manager overseeing all coffee shops on campus.

“This is not random; it’s because of finals,” Grant said.

Samantha Sakelos, a second-year in English and student manager at Berry Café in Thompson Library, said the cafe’s busiest week is finals week when students are constantly there throughout the day.

“People meet us here at eight o’clock to get coffee,” Sakelos said.

During finals week, the libraries stay full of students throughout the day.

“(Thompson Library) fills up about mid-day and stays full with everyone studying during the finals week,” said Tonya Maniaci, the coordinator for circulation services.

Thompson is the busiest library in front of the Science and Engineering Library (SEL), Maniaci said.

As students flock to the libraries, Grant said there are a few drinks that seem to be especially popular.

“We sell a lot of the TBC mochas which is a caramel, white mocha coffee drink and right now we are looking at smoothies because of the weather,” Grant said.

She said there is also more demand for caffeine.

“A lot of the sales are with an extra shot of espresso for the extra boost to study,” Grant said. “We sell a lot of carbs, bagels and, of course, juices and Vitaminwater.”

With the increase in sales, extra staffers are needed to help keep things efficient.

“We do staff up on Saturday and Sunday before, absolutely,” Grant said. “We add on one to two students per shift.”

But while many turn to coffee for the energy they need to get through finals, some students choose to study without help from caffeine.

“I don’t like coffee,” said Hunter Davis, a second-year in pharmaceutical sciences. “I don’t like the way it tastes and I’ve had Red Bulls and they make me feel jittery. It’s not a great feeling to me.”

Davis said he plans to study for six hours for each of his two exams and said the caffeine buzz is not something he would want while preparing.

Other students choose other forms of caffeine for their extra boost of energy.

Matt Gruver, a second-year in finance, said he has three finals and plans to study about five hours for each.

“I’ll drink energy drinks more during finals week or leading up to finals than I normally do,” Gruver said.

Grant said she considered that some students prefer energy drinks over coffee. She special-ordered a shipment of energy drinks to the campus cafés for Winter Quarter’s finals to help students prepare for their finals, she said.

While there is no doubt that sales increase during finals week, Grant said there may be factors other than students’ need for caffeine contributing to the increase.

“Another thing to consider as well is that students have meal swipes and they have to use their meal swipes,” Grant said.

However, it is not just campus cafes that see an increase in sales during finals week.

“I think that it’s noticeably different during exam weeks,” said Mario Fitros, manager of Brenen’s Café and Catering on North High Street.

Gross sales at Brenen’s tend to increase at least 10 to 20 percent, Fitros said.

As the cycle continues and the quarter concludes, students will look to caffeinated drinks to accompany their late-night study sessions hoping for good grades and a strong finish to the end of the year.

“Thank God I saved 20 swipes for finals week because I’m going to need every one of them for coffee,” said Maddie Slutsky, an undecided first-year. “Hello Thompson and hello four finals.”


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