UW-Madison invites dogs to campus to help alleviate student stress during finals

Students have the chance to spend their time with dogs at six different campus locations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in an effort to help students minimize stress during finals week.

Thursday is a study day for UW-Madison students before they start the official week of final exams Friday. On Thursday the university hosted one of six Dogs on Call events.

Dogs on Call brings in dogs of all shapes and sizes. Its UW-Madison coordinator, Todd Trampe, said Dogs on Call was first invited to the university six years ago, after research showed that dogs can help a student’s academic performance.

“Of all the family members (students) have back home, they admit that they miss their dogs the most,” Trampe said. “They just feel so much better just having some time to pet the dogs.”

Trampe said Dogs on Call visits the university about 65 times each academic year. He said students love spending time with the dogs and will show him pictures of their own from home.

At the events, some dog owners, including Trampe, have cards of their dogs to give out to students. In one Dogs on Call event, Trampe said a UW senior showed him a card he had kept of Trampe’s dog, Izzie, since the student’s freshman year of college. Trampe said the student had kept the card in his wallet the whole time.

“(Students) just will say: ‘I feel so much better. I was so stressed,’ or ‘I had a really hard chem exam today, and this just really makes me feel better about what I’m doing here on campus,'” Trampe said. “The program just keeps growing and growing.”

Upcoming Dogs on Call events will be at Helen C. White Library from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and at the Presbyterian Church in Madison from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Beyond Dogs on Call, UW-Madison is hosting other activities to help students ace their finals. The Wisconsin Union, for example, will continue its Finals Frenzy, which includes Penny Promotions. The promotions include food sold for one cent that can be purchased with a student’s ID card, called a Wiscard.

“We, at the Wisconsin Union, want to provide students with resources to help them be productive and successful during finals week,” said Wisconsin Union Communications Director Shauna Breneman in an email.

Other wellness events on campus can be found at the university’s event page.

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