Exam Break Brings Dogs to Campus - SUNY Cortland

Exam Break Brings Dogs to Campus

 Exam Break Brings Dogs to Campus

04/27/2011 

“Paws for Stress Relief” is SUNY Cortland’s most relaxing study break on four legs.

The two-day event, scheduled for Friday, May 13 and Monday, May 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., invites students to the College’s Corey Union Function Room to interact with dogs and forget about the worries of exam week.

Co-sponsored by the Academic Support and Achievement Program (ASAP), the Health Promotion Office, Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) and Campus Activities, the day’s activities are free and open to all students, faculty and staff.

Teri Vigars, a staff member from ASAP and a golden retriever rescue expert, started the event in Spring 2010. She looked at the models of other colleges that used dogs as study tools and drew up a plan for SUNY Cortland.

The College’s plan, however, differs.

“Most programs that do this use therapy dogs.” Vigars said. “We don’t.”

SUNY Cortland asks faculty and staff to lend their dogs for the day. The event’s community component is vital, Vigars said.

“The interaction between students and faculty is phenomenal,” she said. “It really is fun to listen to them all talking and getting to know each other.”

Most of the dogs on display are rescue dogs. They include several breeds, from Maltese to Doberman.

At least four dogs interact with students at a given time. The dogs are brought together and introduced to each other before the event to ensure safety. They work on two-hour intervals and are available to be petted or played with.

More than 300 students attended past “Paws for Stress Relief” events, according to Cathy Smith, a health educator in the Health Promotions Office. Growing interest forced organizers to add an extra day to this semester’s program and utilize two student interns for planning.

Smith and the interns, seniors Jason Decker and Caitlin Sullivan, planned other stress relief stations throughout the Corey Union Function Room. They include yoga, craft making and coloring.

“It’s just a day to relax and not have to worry about your exam,” said Decker, one of the interns in charge of planning. “You forget about your exam in five minutes.”

Vigars said research suggests the presence of a dog can positively affect people, especially students suffering from exam-week anxiety.

Decker is one of those students.

“You just forget about everything besides the moment you’re in,” Decker said. “The day allows students to get in the moment.”


More News

Summer Research Fellows Seize Opportunity Outside Classroom

Summer Research Fellows Seize Opportunity Outside Classroom

Eleven students earned prestigious undergraduate research summer fellowship awards.


Supreme Court Analyst Scores High

Supreme Court Analyst Scores High

Timothy Delaune again shows an accurate reading on U.S. Supreme Court actions.


Research Team Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

Research Team Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

The new project blends the study of biomechanics and speech pathology.


Academic Convocation to Open School Year Aug. 28

Academic Convocation to Open School Year Aug. 28

This annual tradition launches the academic journey for first-year students.


SUNY Cortland Recycles One Third of its Trash

SUNY Cortland Recycles One Third of its Trash

Keeping nearly 175 tons of plastic, paper and cardboard out of the solid waste stream.


Water Sustainability Project has African Reach

Water Sustainability Project has African Reach

Campus water conservation now is linked to alumna Karen Collier Flewelling '64.


Education Leader Stays Loyal to Alma Mater

Education Leader Stays Loyal to Alma Mater

Orphaned at 9, Peter Kachris '56 said Cortland set him on the right path.


Five Physical Education Student Teachers Commended

Five Physical Education Student Teachers Commended

The five were honored with Lenore K. Alway and Anthony P. Tesori Awards.


College Joins Select Company in ‘Healthier’ Campus Initiative

College Joins Select Company in ‘Healthier’ Campus Initiative

SUNY Cortland is one of the earliest campus participants in a growing national movement.


Employee Team Finishes Second at Corporate Challenge

Employee Team Finishes Second at Corporate Challenge

A four-person team from the College took second place in the mixed team division.


Explore

Visit

Contact