Even if you didn’t visit Social Board’s Rage Room event on Tuesday, you might have heard it. For two hours around lunchtime, shattering plates and upbeat pop blared from the booth underneath a blue tent as students took advantage of the atypical stress-relief event.
The premise of a rage room is simple: Participants vent stress or anger through destruction. Breaking objects is intended to provide catharsis and leave its participants feeling lighter. Several storefronts offer these services throughout Ohio — Akron-based Rage Room Ohio, for example, allows customers to bring their own items or use bats to smash items supplied by the business.
Perfectly timed for midterm season, Social Board’s Rage Room allowed students to throw white ceramic plates against a wall at the back of the tent, where they smashed loudly into shards. There were also markers available so that students could write their stressors (or whatever they pleased) on the plates, and then symbolically destroy them.
Several students reported unintentionally stumbling across the tent on their daily commutes and giving the method a try. “I was just passing by, my friends were going, and I thought it would be kind of fun,” said Erin Gallagher ’25. “I don’t know that I had that much stress, but it was still fun. A couple of my friends who were really stressed said it was good.”
The novelty of the event was part of its charm. “I did enjoy it,” said Jenny Jantzen ’23, who similarly passed by incidentally. “I thought it was very funny. It definitely seemed like a release for people. It just seemed like an amusing thing to do, to add something different to the day.”
Gallagher added that many students enjoyed naming the objects of their stress, whether seriously or humorously. “Some people wrote the names of certain classes,” she said. “I wrote something about bagels because I’m from New Jersey.” According to students who attended, the jokes were as much of a release as the smashing.
While Kenyon students generally enjoyed the Rage Room, a few questioned the purpose of the event. “My first thought when I walked past was, ‘Wow, I can’t believe Kenyon spent their money on people setting up a tent that you can throw things in,’” Seth Lockwood ’23 said. He suggested that students would be better served by an increase in the College’s mental health services, addressing the root of student stress and reducing the need for a rage room.
Other students also found it important to note that smashing a plate is not a long-term solution for stress. “There are a lot of systematic factors that cause stress on campus,” Jantzen said. “I wouldn’t want the school to think this is all we need, that we’re all good — but it was a fun activity in general,” she said.