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University News

Relaxing with Furry Friends During Final Push

University hosts end-of-semester special de-stress events as part of a culture of wellness on campus

Posted in: Health, Homepage News, University

A student snuggles with a bunny.
A therapy bunny provides cuddle therapy before finals.

Students played and snuggled with therapy dogs – and the cutest bunny – during the crunch of finals – the cuddle therapy coming just in time to relieve the stress that comes at the end of every college semester.

The furry friends were invited to campus to help students take care of themselves by the Office of Health Promotion, part of the special events of “End of Semester De-Stress Week” on May 1 – May 5, with a series of relaxing and fun activities – guided meditation, lawn games, peer counselors to talk to, and the therapy pets to help students manage stress and boost their moods.

Helping students feel a sense of belonging and support for their mental and physical wellness is a priority at Montclair State University. This year that has included increased programming, outreach, special events and the arrival of Pebbles, a mini chocolate labradoodle, who will be trained as a therapy dog when she’s older.

“The culture of wellness within our student community at Montclair is of utmost importance to us,” says Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life Dawn Meza Soufleris. “We know that students who feel safe, have outlets to de-stress, support services to manage their mental and physical health, and who are connected in a variety of ways to the University do far better in their academic work, the relationships they develop, and can better cope with everyday challenges they experience while here.”

The therapeutic session with the rabbit and canines of Creature Comfort is always a nice break during a hectic study period – and who can resist those cute faces and the healing powers of doggy belly rubs and ear scratches.

Photo Gallery

Three students pet a golden dog with a vest.
A dog laying on the floor is petted by four students.
A female student holds a bunny while another pets it.
A black dog sits in the center as six students pet it.
A golden dog lifts its head off the floor toward a hand reaching out to it.
A student smiles as she snuggles a rabbit.
A dog wags its head and tail as smiling students reach out to pet it.
A close up of a black dog.

Photos by John J. LaRosa.

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