By Chris Adams
The dogs are back in town.
Students will once again get the chance to unwind with monthly pet-therapy sessions every month in That Empty Space this upcoming year.
Although this is pet-therapy, don’t expect to play with animals other than dogs.
The Students’ Union will partner with Pet Access League Society, a Calgary-based pet-therapy organization, to hold these sessions.
Former vice-president student life Ben Cannon brought puppy rooms to campus last year. SU vice-president Jonah Ardiel said the success of the puppy rooms during Stress Less Week prompted them to schedule them more regularly.
“They were obviously very well attended. The three we offered in December, over 990 students went to those three sessions cumulatively. Clearly they’re a hit among students,” Ardiel said.
Ardiel said that monthly sessions will benefit students’ mental health. He added that it’s important to relieve stress over the course of the semester rather than just before final exams.
Scheduling for Stress-Less Week puppy rooms will remain the same as last year, with three sessions tentatively scheduled for Dec. 1, 3 and 5.
Ardiel has also made art a key component of his mental health strategy.
“We have been planning for an open-mic event, one each semester. We haven’t picked a date yet, but it’s going to be in October,” Ardiel said. “It’s to give underrepresented groups on campus an outlet to play, as well as from a mental health perspective it’s useful for students walking by to see them play.”
The first pet-therapy session is on Sept. 26 from 12:00–1:30 p.m.