Student Union VP Owes Electoral Landslide to “Puppy Room” Promise
It’s an undeniable fact: puppies make everything better, and that includes college. So after news broke of a special “puppy room” at Dalhousie University, created to help fight finals jitters in December, Ben Cannon at the University of Calgary saw the promise of making a puppy room at his own college as an opportunity. Cannon promised that if he was elected vice president of the University of Calgary Student Union, he would deliver the school a puppy room of its own.
“It was probably my greatest selling point with students,” said . “Everybody seems very keen on the idea.”
The puppy room at Dalhousie attracted over 500 students when an animal therapy organization, Therapuetic Paws of Canada, brought dogs to the campus at the end of Fall quarter. The school also began shuttling students to the local SPCA to get some play time in once the event was over, and so far, Dalhousie has heard nothing but positive feedback.
Now, with electoral victory assured, Cannon is working with Debbie Bruckner of the University of Calgary’s Wellness Centre to find a way to get a school its own puppy room.
“Work on the puppy room starts tomorrow,” said Cannon. “If I don’t follow through on the puppy room, I’m going to be hung in the south courtyard.”
Citing how studies have shown that looking at cute baby animals will actually boost productivity by improving concentration while also lowering stress levels, Cannon says that the puppy room is not just good publicity, but there’s plenty of health and scientific benefits to be found in interacting with puppies.
“It sounds kind of like a silly idea at first but it’s proven scientifically, I mean, it raises your dopamine levels in your brain, lowers your blood pressure. There’s just something about it – there’s a reason why dogs are a man’s best friend,” said Cannon.