Many college freshman bring family photos or a favorite blanket from home when they head off for school, but according to the New York Times, today’s freshman are ditching those inanimate objects in favor of something closer to their hearts: they’re bringing along the family pet now that more and more schools are allowing animals in the dorms. The Times reports that institutions that are allowing pets include including Stephens College in Missouri, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Eckerd College in South Florida.
As animal lovers, we understand the appeal of being allowed to bring a cherished pet to college. But as much as we love spending time with animals, we do see some potential hazards. Will the stress of sole pet ownership add to the pressures of college life? Will the dogs bark, for example, and disturb studying students? Will large numbers of loud students upset the animals?
The New York Times piece sparked so many questions about the logistics of allowing pets in dorms that they asked Deb Duren, the vice president for student services at Stephens College, to answer a few follow up questions, addressing many concerns, such as how the school plans to deal with the fur and poop that comes along with a building full of pets.
Duren explains that most of the campus is pet free, with the exception of two residence halls and a wing of a third so students with allergies don’t have to be affected by pets. There are special “poop dumpsters” for handling waste, and they offer doggie daycare to help keep the dogs happy while students are in class.
Even after reading Duren’s responses, we still aren’t sure how we feel about it. Some Paw Nation staffers think it’s a good idea to have pets on campus and others believe it is too problematic.
What do you think? Do pets belong in dorm rooms? Would you bring a pet to college with you? Do you wish you had been able to?