Sensory Room Coming Soon to the CAE


Director of the Center for Academic Excellence Donna Musel stands with the new sensory room.

Jordan Sherman, Contributing Writer

A small room inside of the Center of Academic Success, holds a rocking chair, a weighted blanket, a bubble light machine, a sound machine, and a shelf filled with fidget toys and other de-stressors. The room is small but can fit two adults comfortably. It’s the new sensory room in the CAE.

For most students there is not a place on campus for students to be completely by themselves. The only time they can get alone time is going out for a drive, but if they are upset and need space, that’s not a smart or safe decision. Having the sensory room at the CAE will allow students to get that alone time on campus.

Donna Musel, the Center of Academic Success director, has had this idea on her mind for years. Around seven or eight years ago, she saw an increase of students on the autism spectrum. “There was a short span of time where we had several students on the autism spectrum who really needed a space to go and decompress at the end of the day.” Musel made it her mission to study information on autism and build a space to accommodate people who need to occupy it. “This was something that I really wanted to have in place and in the old space in the CAE there physically room to do that. So, when we started looking at what we needed in the planning of this area, that was one thing I would not compromise on because there is a need for this in our community.”

Initially the sensory room was just going to be for students on the spectrum but since the pandemic, there has been an increase of anxiety among students. Having the sensory room gives students a designated space that they can go visit to relieve stress and be by themselves to decompress. Whether it’s in-between classes or at the end of the day, going into the room to sit and rock or listen to music is a great way to collect yourself.

Jasmin Terven, a psychology and social work major is excited for the sensory room. “I think this room will help a lot of students who suffer with anxiety and let them have some alone time away from everyone else. Personally, I know I would benefit from using the sensory room and so can everyone else.”

The sensory room still needs a few things before its available to students. Warm soft lighting will be added along with a fan. Also, a bean bag will be added, along with yoga and stretching poses posters on the wall. After that it will be open to the students. Right now, there is not a place to sign up for times other than emailing Donna Musel. In the future she hopes to have some sort of electronic sign-up sheet where students can reserve the room from their phone or computer for whenever they need it. Students will be able to stay in the sensory room for up to thirty minutes upon opening.

In the coming weeks, students should be on the lookout for an announcement and more information regarding the sensory room in BVU News, CAE website, and on the CAE Facebook page for the announcement of the opening of the sensory room.