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SUNY Cortland offers unique relief for students stressing finals week

For many college students, it’s one of the most stressful weeks of the school year. But one area campus is trying to provide some relief from all the pressures that come with finals week.
Cortland (WSYR-TV) -- For many college students, it’s one of the most stressful weeks of the school year. But one area campus is trying to provide some relief from all the pressures that come with finals week.

SUNY Cortland has created a rather unique relief center for students stressing exams, highlighted by the chance to pet and play with dogs.

"Everything else just kind of goes away. Playing with the dogs does calm you down…I like to pat the dogs and just be goofy with them, kind of mellows you out,” said SUNY Cortland Graduate Assistant Chris Scagnelli.

"You're not thinking about any tests that you have, you're not worried about anything, you're just relaxed and playing with the dogs, getting your mind off of everything,” said Student Organizer Dana Utz.

It’s not the only stress reliever this week. The school has added an oxygen bar to help calm you down, as well as massage chairs and recliners.

"Every dog that comes in here belongs to a staff member, or faculty member or administrator, which is great because the students get to know everybody here and it humanizes you when you have a dog, so for a lot of faculty members it’s just terrific,” said Paws for Stress Relief Organizer Teri Vigars. "The one thing on the survey the students fill out, is bring more dogs, so even though I have 32 different dogs scheduled over two days, we're going to have to build more dog houses and have more dogs next year."

They’ve built the partitions so the dogs don’t interact with each other, but just with the students, who are looking for a little break from all the stress and studying that comes with finals week.

The event started small with only a handful of dogs back in 2010, but organizers say it’s grown to a point where most students look forward to it.
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