Today may signal the start of fall semester at the University of Minnesota. But for some students, the big event begins tomorrow: the return of Woodstock the Therapy Chicken.
Woodstock and some specially trained cats and dogs will be greeting students from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Boynton Health Service as part of its popular PAWS (Pet Away Worry and Stress) program.
The pets exude their own kind of animal magnetism, with an almost Zen-like calm as hundreds of students parade through to ooh and ah and stroke their fur. It's well known that pets can have a calming affect on people, and in the past, many schools have trotted them out at especially stressful times, such as mid-terms and finals.
This year, the U is scheduling the free pet-therapy sessions once a week on the Minneapolis campus through most of the semester, with occasional appearances on the St. Paul campus. For dates and times, check out this website.
Campus Confidential scours student unions, lecture halls and dorms for the crucial and quirky stories that make colleges and universities special. Share what you’re up to on a Friday night, learning (or not) in that lecture - and what you're looking for in a school search as a new student. Higher education reporter Maura Lerner will keep you informed.