By Brandon Gillet
The uOttawa Academic Writing Help Centre (AWHC) held its second annual Long Night Against Procrastination (LNAP) event overnight Thursday, Nov 5. Students came to spend time with staff and take part in workshops on topics like time management and anti-procrastination, while enjoying pizza and snacks.
The point of the LNAP is to create a sense of community based on learning, according to Amélie Maxwell, AWHC academic writing specialist. Campus activities are often social in nature, and lack an academic dimension. But campus life is more than parties or making friends with similar interests.
“We find it’s a great way to socialize around academic topics,” said Olivia Faucher, AWHC manager. “Last year was the first year and it was really great to see students show up and help one another even if they didn’t know each other.”
Another purpose of the event — the “procrastination” aspect — is that right now, with the end of term and exam period fast approaching, is the perfect time to talk about questions like time management or the importance of sleep.
Students began pouring into the AWHC at 8 p.m. with a variety of goals, like getting started on their dreaded term papers or simply keeping on top of their notes for exam time.
“I have a lot of essays due and they are all inter-related enough to go at them together,” said political science student Daniel Rae. “They are also very intimidating, so it helps to be in an environment where other people are working towards the same goal.”
Other students just wanted to take advantage of the night, with no specific agenda in mind but to get together with other students.
“I just thought I’d come because it’s nice to all get together,” said bio-med student Kaila Tims. “Also because they have fun things to do as well.”
The idea was spawned from an event at Brock University that was discussed at a Canadian Writing Centres Association conference two years ago. The LNAP is actually a nationwide university initiative and happens at a number of institutions in November each year.
Each institution’s LNAP event is unique. At uOttawa, the AWHC worked closely on the workshops with the SASS’s student mentoring program and other services. They even had the puppies from SASS’s pet therapy program show up in the morning to lift student’s spirits after the Long Night.
“This year’s LNAP was a great success,” said Maxwell. “It was wonderful to see students helping students!”