Union also has rooms to get away from it all

There's studying, and then there's studying.

As in, rent-a-hotel-room-to-get-away-from-everyone-during-finals-week studying.

Of the approximately 43,400 students at the University of Illinois, a dozen or so every year take advantage of a special "Finals Week Study Deal" at the Illini Union Hotel.

For the low, low price of $45 a night (plus tax), they can reserve a hotel room and study to their heart's content. In some cases, with a nice view of the Quad.

Why? To get some alone time away from noisy roommates, the allure of the bars and other distractions.

Students come from apartments and residence halls — "anybody who has a roommate that they can't deal with or they can't cooperate with to get some quiet time," said hotel manager Wally Lotz.

"A lot of times it's the parents who actually will call and make a reservation for the kids. They might be aware of some diversions that they want to take out of the picture."

Say no more.

About 10 students signed up for this year's finals week promotion, which ends Friday. The price is less than half the regular student rate for rooms, which start at $105 a night.

Room service isn't available, but the package includes a survival kit with snacks and a gift card for the Union's bowling alley.

UI senior Topher Williamson rented a room with three friends during last year's finals. They wanted a new place to study and hang out away from the "crowds of stress and noise and tension that come from hundreds of students studying for finals."

Plus they needed space from another roommate (who shall not be named).

"Our apartment was just kind of stressful at that time," he said.

Williamson was technically done with finals at that point, so "I was mostly a distraction," he admitted. But a friend who had an 8 a.m. calculus exam the next day managed to do well.

"It was good bonding — and good studying," he said.

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