Dec. 9, 2016 | Campus Life | Library |
The University’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Brackett Library reached out to students under more stress this week with final exams scheduled for next week. CAB hosted an Anti-Stress Christmas Fest on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. in the Student Center. In chapel Tuesday, Dec. 6, Brackett Library announced the return of therapy dogs that would be in the library Wednesday, Dec. 7 at noon and Friday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m.
CAB’s Anti-Stress Christmas Fest was a free event for students to attend during the week before final exams. The event allowed students to sing karaoke, decorate cookies, make a gingerbread house and play games. CAB provided cookies and coffee for all those who attended. According to junior Presley Nixon, co-director of CAB, the event was intended to give students a break from studying and give them an opportunity to relax and have a festive time together.
“I don’t think students really have time to get in the Christmas spirit because of finals and everything going on this time of the semester,” Nixon said. “I loved that we got to set some time aside to breathe, have fun, and basically have a huge Christmas party!”
The Brackett Library brought therapy dogs back for the sixth semester in a row on Wednesday and again on Friday as a part of their Stress Reduction Week, which is always held during the week before finals. Past Stress Reduction Weeks have included events such as puzzles, Legos, adult coloring stations, yarn time, story time and a human library in addition to therapy dog sessions. Director of Brackett Library Jean Waldrop connected with ABLEpaws, an organization that provides visits to hospitals, schools and other organizations, in fall 2014. According to librarian Lisa Fuller, the reactions from students are priceless. Fuller said the library staff often sees tears, calm, joy, happiness, laughter and stress relief from students when they spend time with the therapy dogs.
“One of the biggest benefits is that it allows them to reconnect with a part of themselves that often has to be left at home — a pet,” Fuller said. “Being able to sit down and pet a dog brings a piece of home to them during a very busy and stressful time.”
Fuller said that those who choose to work in a library normally help students by providing resources for research and learning, but they know that those are not the only things necessary to do well in school. By hosting the therapy dogs, Fuller said that they can help in ways that they typically aren’t able to do. Fuller said that they can provide a more holistic picture of what doing well in school means.
“It isn’t only about studying and grades,” Fuller said. “It’s about learning to take care of yourself, realizing when stress and anxiety are affecting you, and knowing when you need to take a break.”