Article by Kaitlin Lertora
Photo Courtesy of Pawed.com
Roanoke College Subject Tutoring hosted a petting zoo at Fintel Library on Oct. 6. for students to attend between classes.
The event was called “Hoppy Hour” and the zoo contained roosters and rabbits for the participants to spend time petting. Dozens of students attended to use the photo booth, play nerd pong, drink mocktails (nonalcoholic cocktails) and to eat at the candy bar.
“The purpose of Hoppy Hour was to draw in the students who are typically strangers to Subject Tutoring, often due to intimidation,” said one of the event organizers, Junior, Amanda Wolfe. “The animals weren’t necessarily supposed to ease midterm stress but dozens of students cycling through claimed they were there for just that. Students each had their own reasons for finding comfort in just being around the animals in an environment that usually doesn’t have animals.”
Another environment that usually does not permit animals indoors are the dorms. Students on campus have to sneak their pets around if they are determined to keep them in the dorms. One previous student and anonymous campus pet-owner said,
“As long as my pet is not affecting my neighbors in a negative way then I do believe that pets living in the dorms can be beneficial to not only myself but to the community living on the floor as well. When there is a pet on the residence floor, the students bond over it. Most of my neighbors would come to see my pet [and I] when they needed to get something off their chest or when they were stressed about their schoolwork and tests.”
This student later shared that he wishes that there were more animals around campus because he loves to see the joy that his pet brings to others.
RC often hosts events such as Hoppy Hour or Puppy Petting, that reduce the stress of both school and everyday life.
“The dogs during finals are always so nice to have on campus during such a stressful time and they’re always so cute to play with.” said Senior, Julie Tugwell. She expressed that she has come to see these puppies on multiple occasions during her time at the college.
Autumn Hill, senior, has also visited the puppies throughout her college career.
“I always take my dog for a walk when I am stressed at home and I’m 10 times more stressed at school than I am at home!” said Hill. “I also think seeing the dogs takes my mind off the stress of finals and helps me to relax and clear my mind” she continued.
Events like Hoppy Hour, Puppy Petting and even having a pet in a dorm room all appear to reduce stress within the community and make for happier students. Though owning a pet in a dorm room may not always be necessary, the presence of animals on campus helps to build a stronger community between the students.