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

Biology Grad Advises National Geographic Series

Biology Grad Advises National Geographic Series

Todd Curtis '11 is a back-country medic


Residence Life and Housing Set to Host Major Conference

Residence Life and Housing Set to Host Major Conference

Approximately 350 people from 20 colleges and universities are expected to attend.


Cortland Basketball to Host ‘President Bitterbaum Appreciation Night’

Cortland Basketball to Host ‘President Bitterbaum Appreciation Night’

Students will receive a free t-shirt honoring President Bitterbaum at Friday night’s games.


SGA President Literally Gives Everything

SGA President Literally Gives Everything

Patrick Viscome gives the majority of his $5,000 SGA president’s stipend to charity.


SUNY Cortland Celebrates Black History Month

SUNY Cortland Celebrates Black History Month

A full event calendar includes weekly guest lectures, a student open mic showcase and a Pan African dance performance.


Community Calls for Mentors from the College

Community Calls for Mentors from the College

Approximately 80 community children and teens are on the waiting lists of three Cortland area agencies.


Alumni House Excellence Earns International Attention

Alumni House Excellence Earns International Attention

The Parks Alumni House offers a unique and successful example of alumni engagement.


Alumni Assist in MLK Day Events

Alumni Assist in MLK Day Events

Every day is Martin Luther King Jr. Day for Florida retiree Barbara Southwick '68.


Professor Honored by National Geography Group

Professor Honored by National Geography Group

As a teacher, Professor Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo stands out among her peers.


Officer to Train Others on Avoiding Bias

Officer to Train Others on Avoiding Bias

Amanda Wasson will help SUNY with Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) training.


Explore

Visit

Contact