STORY BY CLARE VANECHAUTE
Laughter and puppies will be the key to de-stressing on this year’s dead day.
Both the Dog Days of Finals, sponsored by Drake Student Senate and the Puppy Jake Foundation and an improv show, performed by Drake’s D+ Improv Team, will provide a break from the strain of the approaching finals week.
Dead day is this Friday, where no mandatory meetings, classes or labs take place to allow students to have a full day devoted to preparation for finals’ week.
“We really want to be that stress-reliever,” said Jasen Emamian, president of the D+ Improv team.
D+ became an official organization through Student Senate last year. As a result, performances have increased from a total of four last year to an estimated 10 by the end of this year.
“In the past, it’s been just theater students involved and in the audience, but it’s now expanding,” Emamian said. “We had four non-major participants last year, and we have four again this year.”
In preparation for their anticipated dead day performance, Emamian said the team has doubled its rehearsals, created promo videos, which he released periodically throughout this week on Facebook and designed posters and flyers to hang around campus.
“We are hopeful for a very successful show,” Emamian said. “We really just want to make people laugh.”
The D+ improv performance will be Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Pomerantz Stage in the Olmsted Center. Entrance fee is $2.
Another anticipated event for dead day is the Dog Days of Finals.
Ben Verhasselt, Senate’s services committee chair, is responsible for planning this year’s furry event.
“With this event, you can get your canine fix,” Verhasselt said.
The Dog Days of Finals was created by former Sen. Josh Schoenblatt two years ago after seeing research from similar programs at other universities.
Results indicated a decrease in stress among students.
Schoenblatt is proud of this event and its reception campus-wide.
“Students love it,” Schoenblatt said. “Everyone looks forward to it.”
The borrowed dogs for the program come from the Puppy Jake Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to raising and training service dogs for veterans.
“We have five dogs confirmed from the Puppy Jake Foundation,” Verhasselt said. “I think there will also be two puppies coming to campus.”
Verhasselt believes this program is beneficial to both the students and the puppies.
“The puppies need proper socialization and to get used to a lot of people and a lot of chaos,” Verhasselt said. “So students who are handling their own chaos can come relax and play with some puppies.”
The Dog Days of Finals is free with the only stipulation being to sign a waiver.
“It’s just to make sure you don’t steal the dogs or have allergies or anything like that,” Verhasselt said.
Students can play with the puppies with no designated time limit, but Verhasselt trusts students to stick to an honor system.
“Students need to respect the puppies and the other students and not spend the whole three hours with one dog.”
This event will also take place at Pomerantz Stage from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.