Puppy promises make good politics.
That’s one lesson Ben Cannon learned from his landslide victory in recent University of Calgary student union elections.
Cannon was elected vice-president student life with 55 per cent of the vote in a three-way race after making “puppy rooms” on campus a key part of his campaign platform.
“It was probably my greatest selling point with students,” Cannon said. “Everybody seems very keen on the idea.”
Other Canadian universities have already adopted the idea, aimed at relieving students’ stress by giving them easy access to cuddly canines on campus.
“There’s no better way to relax than to snuggle up with a dog,” said Joan Andersen of Calgary’s Pet Access League Society, a non-profit group that provides pet therapy.
Debbie Bruckner of the U of C Wellness Centre said the university is already working with Cannon on the logistics of a puppy room.
“It’s something than can generate a lot of publicity, I feel, for the larger issue of student mental health,” Cannon said.
- Petting dog for 15 minutes has been shown to reduce blood pressure and increase dopamine levels in people’s brains, said Joan Andersen of Calgary’s Pet Access League Society.