Students enjoy their time with Sophie, a therapy dog who visited Emerson College December 4. Photos by Victoria Bilcik '17
Students had a chance to unwind with dogs, snacks, and an array of activities before kicking into high gear for finals week at the third Cirque de De-Stress, which took place on December 4 in Emerson College’s Iwasaki Library.
The Cirque was sponsored by Student Accessibility Services, Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS), and the Iwasaki Library, and was supported by the Office of the President, Student Life, Student Activities, Health and Wellness, and Violence Prevention and Response. Cate Hirschbiel, coordinator of outreach at the library, organized the event as a way to help students relax before taking on the home stretch of the semester.
“Emerson students are work-hard-play-hard sorts of people,” Hirschbiel said. “That’s one of the reasons why I partnered with Diane [Paxton] from Student Accessibility Services and Patty [Challan] from ECAPS, because they both see students who are under a lot of stress. And we thought, if only we could do something for them.”
Students helped create literacy kits for children.
The Cirque de De-Stress occurs once each semester, after it earned the most votes from participants in last year’s Emerson UnCommon online game, which collected feedback from students, faculty, and staff to aid with strategic planning. During the game, the community gave the most votes to bringing Therapy Dogs for Students to campus as part of the daylong Cirque de De-Stress.
The event featured coloring activities, free snacks, a photo booth, movie giveaways, massages and—most popularly—10-minute sessions with therapy dogs. There was even a live stream of the therapy dog sessions for Emersonians who could not make it to the library. Jumpstart also had a table at which students put together literacy kits for clients.
“I hope [students] will get a moment of peace before the end of the semester,” Hirschbiel said, “and be able to face the rest of the week and do their best work.”
Emerson College students used coloring books to help wash away end-of-semester jitters.