Therapy dogs to make finals less ‘ruff’


Cassidy Johnson

Canine Therapy Corps

By Campus Editor

Puppies will be running, licking and rolling around in Columbia’s library during finals week to de-stress students  and alleviate academic anxiety.

The college is collaborating with Canine Therapy Corps, a Chicago-based animal-assisted therapy program, to bring a number of dogs to Room 305 at the library in the 624 S. Michigan Ave. Building on Dec. 10 from 2:30–4:30 p.m., according to Molly Hart, a student engagement assistant in the library who helped organize the event.

“Who doesn’t love dogs?” Hart said. “Bringing in therapy dogs has always been a goal of the library.” 

Hart said after speaking with the Student Government Association, which endorsed bringing in the dogs earlier in the semester, it became apparent that this was an initiative students wanted to see carried out. Hart said she anticipates that the event will be a success and hopes to make the event a tradition during finals weeks in future years, making it a semiannual event.

“We’ve seen it done at a lot of other [colleges],” Hart said. “It’s definitely a tried and tested thing that’s been done at many colleges and universities of big and small sizes alike. It’s a universally loved program.”

Columbia will be one of many colleges across the country that bring therapy dogs to their campuses. Kent State University in Ohio, has recurring visits from therapy dogs through its academic year.

Jan Chindlund, dean of the library and an adjunct faculty member in the First-Year Seminar Department, said the library staff has been working to organize the therapy dogs’ visit during finals week for a number of years.

“We are really pleased that it is going to happen this year,” Chindlund said. “If [students] want to come by and spend time with some wonderful dogs to de-stress, this is an opportunity to do so.”

Guillermo Frausto, a sophomore cinema art + science major, said bringing dogs to campus during finals week is an effective way for students to alleviate stress.

He said he plans to attend the event with his roommates and hopes this will allow other students to relieve stress in a positive way rather than turning to substances or other releases to get through finals.

“It’s the best idea Columbia has had so far,” Frausto said. “I know a lot of people that are stressed about [finals], and this can be a great stress reliever.”