Bluefield University’s advanced public relations class will be hosting a “Stress Free Paw-ty” Monday, April 29 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the campus quad area. Students and community members can pay a voluntary $2 donation fee and get to play with dogs or cats.
Final exam week is the most stressful time for college students. What is more stress relieving than playing with a dog? This event was created in hopes that it will help bring joy and take students minds off of final exams. “I think that it will be very important for the students to do as much as they can to manage the stress they experience during this time (finals), said Dr. Kim Farmer, professor and chair, department of criminal justice. “I think this event is something I would encourage them to take advantage of, because animals will serve that purpose, the calming effect. Letting them feel the love that an animal can give back to you, that unconditional love. That’s going to make them, if they are getting high anxiety, reduce that anxiety or stress during that encounter. Then, when they leave it, I think that will last.”
It will also be a charity event benefitting the Tazewell County Animal Shelter. Students and community members can purchase baked goods, choose to adopt, or hangout with fellow animal lovers. All proceeds go directly to the animal shelter.
“I was really excited when I heard about this event,” said Sarah Laprade, communication major. “I think that it is a great idea and a unique experience for BU students. I’m a dog lover as I am sure many other students are, and I think this will definitely bring some happiness to campus during this stressful week.” According to the ASPCA approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. It is important to fund the ever-growing animal shelters. Animals come in everyday and not many go to a home.
The Bluefield University Public Relations class has recognized that and are trying to help. “Animals and babies help you put things in perspective,” said Farmer. “I like to go spend time with my granddaughters, that helps if I am really stressed or if life seems like it is really piling things on me. Just having that time where I can focus on them, after that I just have a different outlook and I feel like I can tackle things again. This is going to do the same thing. Having that time with animals, I think will help them (students). It is fun, it’s also calming, and very helpful. I am delighted that something like this is happening, I think it is awesome.”
Dr. Cindy Bascom, professor of communication, along with three of her students; Emily Carlisle, Melissa Denson, and Sahara Brewster make up the team running the event and public relations campaign. When choosing the event and charity they made lists and voted. The idea to bring animals on campus for a stress relieving event got everyone’s vote. They then chose a charity they felt would benefit most from this event which happened to be the Tazewell County Animal Shelter.