At Rogers State University, therapy dogs are doing their part to make finals weeks a little less stressful.
Rogers State University, like many other colleges across the nation, is holding finals this week. And to ease the stress, therapy dogs are visiting May 6-7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stratton Taylor Library.
“I thought have therapy dogs come visit would be a good way for college students to de-stress during finals week,” Michelle Owens, collection development librarian, said.
Owens got the idea from her time working in public libraries, particularly inspired by the Tulsa City-County Library System’s PAWS for Reading program for children, where reluctant readers would be coaxed out to practice by reading stories to dogs (for, as everyone knows, they are very good listeners).
“Their main task is to be a calming influence on our students,” Owens said. “All of these dogs are very well socialized. They are friendly, but do not jump, and they are great with crowds. They will let the students pet them for hours.
Therapy dog days are the best days to come into work!”
Student feedback clamors for more therapy-dog visits, but with several other universities in the area also using the same cast of dogs, scheduling can get tricky, which is partially why a midterm visit was discontinued.
Rogers State is a Division II university near Tulsa in Claremore, Oklahoma, on the site of what was once the Oklahoma Military Academy. Their sports teams are known as the Hillcats, who play in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).
Sadly, pets are not allowed on campus, unlike some other schools, though at least a handful of emotional support animals have been known to live in the dorms and apartments, mostly dogs, though a few cats.
For more information about Rogers State, see their website for more information.
Wesley graduated from RSU in May 2017 with a BA in English and minors in Radio/TV Communication and Creative Writing. The therapy dog visits were not a thing yet, but I would have loved the event if they were.
If you were/are a student, would you appreciate this program?