Photo by David Pynchon.

As finals week end across the country, there was a key de-stress mechanism in place this year: Puppies.

“It’s really casual and laid back,” Sheila Murray, a freshman at St. Lawrence University who helped plan her school’s de-stress puppy event. “It doesn’t really require you to do much. You just bond with the people around you and play with the dogs.”

St. Lawrence University event was hosted by the student council. Faculty members brought in their dogs and students were free to drop by and play with the animals.

“People really miss being around animals,” Murray said. “it’s not really something that you think about until you get there and see the dogs.”

Photo by David Pynchon.

Fellow student council member and co-organizer Austin Hart pointed out using puppies was a low-cost and effectient way to create a sense of community within the student body especially during finals.

“When we were setting up, I was pretty nervous about how the turn-out was going to be like. We probably got like 20 people initially and then the next minute we got swarmed,” Hart said.

Student council staff advisor Stacey Banfield-Hardaway pointed out the positive effects of having animals around in campus.

“ ADDIN AudioMarker 72 As I started talking about the event with peers, they became more thoughtful about the effects of being around animals and just how calming it could be,” Banfield-Hardaway said.

Photo by David Pynchon.

And it’s not just St. Lawrence University who are bringing dogs on campus. At the University of Southern California, the fraternity Sigma Delta Alpha set up a similar event during their finals week.

“It went really well,” USC student Sergio Alevar said. “Mostly girls showed up. But this is the sort of event that ADDIN AudioMarker 111 benefits the school. When you think of a fraternity, you think parties and stuff. But this was a community service event we put out for everyone to enjoy and it worked.”

AudioMarker 111 benefits the school. When you think of a fraternity, you think parties and stuff. But this was a community service event we put out for everyone to enjoy and it worked.”

Photo by David Pynchon.
Clarissa Wei is a Spring 2012 USA TODAY Collegiate Correspondent. Learn more about her here.

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