Dogs, alpacas help MSU students de-stress during finals week

Posted at 4:23 PM, Apr 24, 2019

BOZEMAN – It’s a packed house inside the Montana State University library as students are attempting to squeeze in every last bit of information for finals week.

But it’s a very different story outside of the library — MSU has brought alpacas to campus for the first time ever, for students to de-stress and take a break.

“I love goats and alpacas so every time I see them I just get really excited,” sophomore Ruthie Valore said.

Bringing therapy dogs at this point in the semester is typical for colleges across the country, but MSU has brought it to the next level.

After President Waded Cruzado saw the alpacas outside of an Ace Hardware Store and realized how much joy they can bring, she wanted the campus community to experience that same joy during the most stressful time of the year. The MSU library made that happen.

“We want to see the success of the students, and if helping them out in this small way is something we can do, we’ll do it every year,” said MSU Library Program Assistant Lissa Fields.

During finals time, the library provides various options for students to relax and step away from their studies for a quick break.

“Studies have shown that just relaxing and having something to take your mind off of it gives you a better chance; when you return to the work, you’re able to be more focused and retain more of the information,” Fields said.

Valore said, “I think it’s really important to just have a break and not put a ton of stress on yourself all the time and just go with the flow and take time for yourself.”

And this specific break was quite the hit.

The alpacas will also be on campus for students on Wednesday and the therapy dogs will be there on Wednesday through Wednesday, May 1.

Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News