By Marvin Villanueva, May 16, 2023
Therapy dog sessions returned to the Cal Poly Pomona University Library to help students unwind during exam season May 9, 10 and 12.
Held at the Bronco Community Zone, the University Library reintroduced stress-relieving events to spread joy to students who may be going through a nerve-racking time.
Assistant to the Dean of the University Library Kris Zoleta says students need calm moments like these before dealing with the anxiety of finals.
“I was a student at Cal Poly so I know how stressful finals can be for students,” said Zoleta. “We want to let the students know that they can just take a step back from the stress of studying for finals or preparing final projects and just relax for a bit.”
Depending on the day, students had the option to meet with Max, a tiny lively Shih Tzu, Gracie, an energetic black and white speckled Great Dane and a few others.
Out of the excitement in seeing a dog on campus, many students formed a long line that consistently grew throughout the second floor of the library just for a moment to pet, interact with and even hold one of the therapy animals.
Geology students Danielle Lopez and Wendy Hernandez said they wanted to attend the event after seeing a photo of Max on the University Library’s Instagram page.
“It’s like a short amount of time where you can just stop thinking about finals and do something that makes you happy,” Lopez said.
Both students said they love attending events like these because it gives them a boost of serotonin, allowing them to meet new students in line and take their mind off of their studies.
“I really appreciate all the different events they have (at the University Library) like the Nintendo Switch or the decorating events,” Hernandez said. “This one is very popular too, the therapy dogs, I just wish they had cats too.”
According to Zoleta, the therapy dogs have been such a hit with students, the University Library plans to host more sessions throughout the semester instead of just on Welcome Week, CPP National Library Week and Focus on Finals. Zoleta says events like these are important, seeing how it uplifts students’ moods in the previous therapy dog sessions.
“We got so much positive feedback from students where students would say ‘it literally made my day,’” Zoleta said. “Or for some of the students, they said ‘my dog died recently, and this gave me a way just to get connected with dogs again and remember the love and affection that a dog could give me.’”
The therapy dogs were only one out of four activities the University Library staff planned during their Focus on Finals festivities. Held in conjunction with their Nintendo Switch free play, grad cap decoration and next week’s calligraphy workshop, the purpose of each event was to give students a bit of fun before their upcoming finals week and show them new areas of the University Library such as the Bronco Community Zone.
Assistant to the Dean of the University Library Vanessa Aldaz checked in with each student during Wednesday’s session with Gracie.
“Everyone that’s come out, I asked, ‘was the wait worth it?’ and they all said, ‘yes it was absolutely worth it!’” Aldaz said “(Gracie) has been snapping people out of their funk and they’ve all come out with a smile on their face.”
For more information on future library events, visit its website.
Feature image courtesy of Marvin Villanueva
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