Bulletin News

Dogs, Massages Offer Break from Finals Week


Wagging tails, wet noses and an array of calming activities again will help SUNY Cortland students escape final exams week stress. Paws for Stress Relief, an event that brings dogs to the College’s campus, makes its return Monday, Dec. 12, and Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the Corey Union Function Room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Twenty-six dogs will entertain students over the course of both days, with up to four dogs on display at a time. Board games and art activities will be provided both days, in addition to free cookies and hot chocolate from Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC).

Additionally, massage chairs, spinal exercisers and foot massagers will be introduced to the event for the first time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. Yoga instruction also will take place from noon to 1 p.m. both days.

The stress relief event, taking place for the fourth time at SUNY Cortland, is sponsored by Academic Support and Achievement Program (ASAP), ASC, the Campus Activities and Corey Union Office, the Counseling Center, the Health Promotion Office, the President’s Office and the Vice President for Student Affairs Office.

Teri Vigars, the assistant director of ASAP and one of the lead organizers of Paws for Stress Relief, said many canine-related student programs usually opt for therapy dogs.

Not in SUNY Cortland’s case.

“We use the faculty’s dogs because it allows conversations between the students and faculty and it’s just great to hear them interacting and getting along,” Vigars said. “I’ve been walking my golden retriever around campus just to generate awareness about the event, and even walking him around will create a conversation between me and the students.”

Catherine Smith, the health educator in the Health Promotion Office and another lead organizer of the event, said the program is meant to serve as a study break during final exams week.

“It’s just been a wonderful program and the response we get has been so positive,” Smith said. “it encourages us to make this bigger and better every year. I don’t know if students will ever get excited about finals, but hopefully this gives them something to look forward to during the week.”

For more information, contact Smith at (607) 753-2066.