This summer, the University of Seoul (UOS)’s community welcomed a new family member to the dormitory. In August, a 3-month old Golden Retriever was adopted to brighten the spirits of UOS students.
This was part of the AAA (Animal Assisted Activity) project at UOS, which aims to help people get mental and physical relief from stress, according to the Residential Assistant (RA), Kim Guen-tae (School of Business Administration, ’12). After the adoption, there was a contest to name the puppy, and through this competition he was called “Nuri (The whole world, in pure Korean words)”.
Currently, Nuri participates in two main programs: “Come and Chill at My Place” and “Don’t be Shy, Touch Me”. Both programs are started at the same time, but the detailed timeline can be changed due to the enrollment. The first program is indoors and scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Participants can visit inside of Nuri’s home in the lobby of the dormitory and give him doggie snacks that are kept in the security office. Students who want to participate can enlist their name on the visitor log at the security office. The second program is outdoors from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Each designated time, the participants can stroll with Nuri around the campus and introduce him to the community. Those who want to apply to this program can join to do so through e-mail (for detailed information, check the bulletin board at the dormitory).
“The participating students are increasing every day and already 9 students have joined in the outdoor program,” said the RA, Kim. Devan Berney, an exchange student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said, “It is really nice when I see or pet him. Thanks to him, I feel better, especially after class. I wish my school back home had the same project, too.” Kim also observed that even residents who have not participated in the programs were also fond of this changing environment and gave compliments about Nuri. Since Nuri has a lot of contact with students, he goes to the veterinarian on a weekly basis to check his hygiene and health.
According to Kim, the university is planning to broaden this AAA project to the outside of the campus. When Nuri is more trained and mature, the school will plan a regular visit to the local nursery. Also, in the future, UOS hopes to connect with the AAA project of Seoul, and this connection will create a wide range of activities, such as visiting the elderly or other welfare facilities.