ILR students were treated to a pre-finals lunchtime study break featuring games, prizes, jigsaw puzzles, food and a relaxed atmosphere made even more welcoming by four Cornell Companions.
One of the most popular dogs was Peony, a small cuddly dog who scampered from student to student in the two Ives rooms where the ILR Student Experience Team hosted the Dec. 4 event.
Susan Wolf, owner of the little fluff ball, said, "Peony is very sociable and so the more experience that she has, the more that she is able to cope with different situations."
"She is going to be a service dog, so this only helps her be able to adapt."
A serene greyhound, an enthusiastic golden retriever and a massive, but gentle Newfoundland also mingled with dozens of students at the event. It was sponsored by ILR's Office of Student Services, Office of Career Services, Admissions, Graduate Studies Office, Dean's Office, International Programs and Student Government Association.
Angela Herrera ’03, MPA ’08, ILR's director of Undergraduate Admissions, helped organize the study break.
"The Student Experience Team thought that we could help alleviate student stress by showing our support," she said.
"The team and Assistant Dean Kara Lombardi were excited to do more than just buy food. We wanted to serve the food, show our Cornell spirit and hang out. It was a team effort."
"We immediately thought of pets and how they help alleviate stress, so I volunteered to contact the Cornell Companions and they agreed to participate," Herrera said.
Jamie Morgenstern ’18, co-president of the ILR Student Government Association, said, "This was a great opportunity to be able to de-stress before. It was a lot of fun being able to play games, eat food and play with dogs."
The success of the study break lays the foundation for future ones, Herrera said.
"I hope that we can continue to show our support to all students before finals every semester," Herrera said. "There are so many free resources on campus that we can bring to the community and gather for a moment to take a deep breath."
"Hey, you never know, maybe next semester we will do a group Zumba class!"