Students at the University have been campaigning for a room full of puppies. This comes after Dalhousie University in Canada introduced a puppy room in December for their students to deal with exam stress. Aberdeen University also plans to open one for the the upcoming exam period. Student Tom Denton set up an online petition calling for the University to implement something similar. Speaking to IMPACT, Denton said that 58 people have responded to the petition and it had been handed over to Mike Dore.
“I set up the petition for one simple reason, I enjoy the company of animals,” Denton explained, “A quick chat with the disability team at Student Services gave me faith that there was a therapeutic benefit and one which would be useful to students.”
“As long as the puppies are happy and healthy and it is all run properly, this would be amazing”
“At Nottingham University we have the fantastic ability that, as a green campus, it wouldn’t be impossible to overcome the difficulties of space and excrement. It was logical to move forward.” The petition saw 55 students vote in favour of the idea, with only one person voting against and two people expressing ‘significant concerns’.
Comments left on the petition varied, with one saying: “As long as the puppies are happy and healthy and it is all run properly, this would be amazing,” while others were worried about the welfare of the dogs, stating “Undue stress on animals, overcrowding, lack of proper care, waste of University’s money.”
Nightline commented on the idea, saying that “The Canadian university’s idea of a puppy room sounds like a brilliant idea – although as a listening service we don’t give advice so would have to recommend all cute animals equally!” However, they also encouraged any student feeling overwhelmed to contact their services, which run 24/7 over the exam period.
“It wouldn’t be impossible to overcome the difficulties of space and excrement.”
SU Welfare Officer Mike Dore remarked: “Whilst studies show that ‘puppy rooms’ have been successful in reducing stress in some cases, there are many different ways to alleviate the symptoms of stress and fatigue. With regards to whether Nottingham could implement something similar, we work on projects based on student issues and the needs our students have.”
Dore added that any student who is interested in having a puppy room introduced should submit the idea to the SU’s ‘Change it’ page which allows Nottingham students to vote on and debate ideas. Second year Psychology student Robyn Lawes has since submitted this idea to the site, telling Impact that, “I thought it was an interesting idea so I casually posted it to the Heard in Hallward Facebook page and got a large amount of positive responses. One guy (Thomas Denton) even created a petition in response to find out how many students would be interested in taking the idea further.”
Impact conducted their own poll on Facebook to find out what students thought. 15 people answered ‘Yes’ with four saying ‘No’ and 12 saying that they would rather have kittens.
Photo by David Evans
If anyone is feeling overwhelmed with stress, Nightline are available at nottinghamnightline.co.uk