C.H.A.M.P. volunteer Lisa Becher introduces Harper, a certified therapy dog, to SIUE students, from left, Miranda Farrow, Morgan Tillery and Amber Fobert.
On Monday, May 5, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students took a break from the stress of final exams and received a little puppy therapy. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., nearly 250 students stopped by the Morris University Center Goshen Lounge to connect with therapy dogs and, for at least a few minutes, breathe a little easier.
The finals week tradition, which began four years ago on the SIUE campus, has become a favorite among students. This year’s visit marks the second year SIUE has partnered with C.H.A.M.P. Assistance Dogs of Florissant, Mo., to make the therapy dogs available.
Liz Aurbach, C.H.A.M.P. therapy dog program director, described the calming influence of the therapy dogs.
“Some students come for just a few minutes, where others stay with the dogs for hours,” she said. “It’s a bit of a mystery, but there have been studies that show that dogs lower blood pressure.”
The organization arranged for six certified therapy dogs, accompanied by their volunteer handlers, to visit campus.
- Newman, black lab
- Kylie, border terrier
- Harper, golden retriever
- Moose, Irish wolfhound
- Romey, German shepherd
- Nala, golden retriever
The feedback from students is a testament to the effectiveness of the time spent with the dogs.
“I just came from a final exam,” said Emily Bublitz, a freshman in the SIUE School of Nursing. “I enjoyed this so much, I wish we had a puppy room on campus.”
“I would love to see this every week,” said Miranda Farrow, a freshman in the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences.
“I really appreciate the time with them (dogs), and I hope to see this offered again,” said Morgan Tillery, a sophomore in the SIUE School of Education.
The therapy dogs’ visit is one of several events planned for final weeks to support students as they prepare for and complete exams. Final exam week will conclude on Thursday, May 8, prior to the Spring 2014 Commencement exercises on May 9 and 10.
This article is from http://www.siue.edu/.