CSU, Chico News

De-Stress Fest Brings Puppies and Pampering to CSU, Chico Students Before Finals

Date: 12-17-2010

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Stephanie Chervinko
Campus Wellness Center

Salsa lessons, puppies and five-minute massages were offered to California State University, Chico students during the De-Stress Fest held on Dec. 9 during the week before finals. For several years, the Health and Wellness Center has been sponsoring activities to help students manage the stress of upcoming final tests and projects. This is the second year that puppies have been brought to campus for students to hold, pet and play with.

WRECFit at the Wildcat Recreation Center provided indoor space and advertisements on the WREC TV screens. The Butte County Humane Society brought the puppies. Ninety students visited the area with the puppies during the two hours they were there. Many students, said Stephanie Chervinko who coordinated De-Stress Fest for the Campus Wellness Center, expressed interest in having the puppies on campus more frequently.

“Students really enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the puppies,” said Chervinko. “Playing with a puppy provided the opportunity to take a short break from the stress of the end-of-semester crunch. It’s hard to stay stressed when you’re petting a playful puppy."

CSU, Chico joins other colleges nationwide that offer unique stress busters. Other colleges, including Chapman University, Tufts University and Oberlin College, have brought puppies to campus to help lower pre-exam stress.

The Campus Wellness Center has been sponsoring the De-Stress fest for a number of years. Teaming up with WRECFit, a program started this semester, was a great idea, said Kendall Ross, who helps coordinate the WRECFit program for Recreational Sports. WRECFit promotes healthy lifestyles throughout the semester. Its goal is to partner with other groups that also promote healthy lifestyles and are looking for space.

De-Stress Fest will happen again at the end of next semester, and the puppies will definitely be back. Meanwhile, said Ross, events such as dance lessons, relaxation stations and personal training will continue to be offered through WRECFit throughout the semester.