Therapeutic dogs would energize students

Imagine it’s been a stressful week or month, or let’s face it, semester. Nothing is helping: not that milkshake from Chick-fil-a or that completely necessary Netflix binge. As you walk into the library for another exhausting night of unsolvable problems, you see it. There, in front of you, conveniently located right in the library, is a room full of bubbling, bouncing puppies.

Therapy dogs are a new trend in higher-level education and its concept has already spread to some of the world’s most prestigious universities. Tech should be on that list.

I am not talking about having therapy dogs at Tech for a few hours during Finals Week. I am talking about a room in the library that is purely devoted to housing adorable, lovable and stress-relieving dogs.

Big-name universities, such as Yale, Harvard, University of Pittsburgh and the Loyolas, already house therapy dogs year round to help their students. Harvard especially has become famous for its resident puppy, Cooper, who can be “checked out” through the Harvard Medical School’s library much like a beloved book. A dog as a permanent staple on Tech’s campus is not a new idea, either. Students today still get some relief from Sideways.

Many schools now use therapy dogs to help students during Finals Week, but Tech is not an average school. It is a running joke that every week is midterm week. Therapy dogs can definitely help with mental health issues such as school-related stress.  There is even evidence that therapy dogs can help with larger medical issues, as they are used in children’s hospitals and mental hospitals across the nation. Surely, permanent therapy dogs on Tech’s campus can do nothing but improve our student’s experience.

If Tech employs even a few therapy dogs that students could play with to de-stress, it would not only help the overstretched counseling center but also create a better, happier campus life. College should be about more than all-nighters and failed tests; it should even be about more than good grades and high paying jobs. College should not be a miserable experience, and I cannot think of anything less miserable than a room full of puppies.

I do not believe therapy dogs will waste any resources either. Yes, it will cost money to hire someone qualified to take care of the dogs when they are not with students, but I am sure many students would volunteer to help care for the dogs.

More so, Tech’s library is about to undergo a huge renovation that will open up space. There has to be enough room in our seven-story library for some stress-relieving puppies.

Students across campus look forward to those few days during Finals Week when therapy dogs visit our library. Imagine if we had that all year long. Tech is always discussing new ways to innovate and lead the way in education—how about leading the way in science of happiness?