Students de-stressed with llamas on Memorial Glade on Wednesday at a “Mental Health Day” event hosted by the office of ASUC Senator Saakshi Goel.
Students at the event were able to pet, feed and take pictures with six llamas from Llamas of Circle Home, a llama ranch located in Sonora and owned by Geo Caldwell. The event — which took about a month to organize, according to Goel’s director of sexual violence and sexual harassment Daphne Le — also featured campus organization De-stress with Dogs, a yoga session, and an a cappella performance from UC Berkeley Dil Se.
“We decided to do something about everything that has been happening related to survivors recently,” Goel said. “We just wanted to do something to honor survivors in positivity, instead of continuing to saturate the news with a lot of negativity.”
External Affairs Vice President Nuha Khalfay’s office tabled to help students write letters to government officials urging them to stop the repeal of Title IX protections. Foresight Mental Health, a start-up clinic created by two campus seniors, also tabled at the event. The clinic collaborates with psychiatrists and technology with algorithms to help psychiatrists figure out the optimal medication for individuals, Le said.
Foresight currently serves about 50 campus students, according to Le.
“I think it’s super cool that they’re doing this for the students, especially with llamas, because you don’t get to see those often,” said campus sophomore Emily Wang. “It’s just a good time to de-stress, take pictures and have fun.”
Caldwell said ever since he took his llamas to UC Berkeley, the ranch has received requests from various other campuses.
“UC Berkeley is special in that the llamas are so well-received, loved and respected, and it just warms my heart every time they see them,” Caldwell said. “Seeing all the love here for the llamas, I know every smile, each love is doing people good.”