Canines At College?: Do Dogs Have A Place In Dorms?

June 9th, 2010 by Dan

A few days ago The New York Times published an article about a new trend that seems to be spreading through college campuses – dog friendly dorms. Currently there are a few institutions that allow pets including MIT, Eckerd College and Washington & Jefferson College – however Stephens College, an all women’s school in MO, is taking this idea to a new level. They’re remodeling a dorm and dubbing it “Pet Central”. The residence will include a doggie-daycare on the first floor that will be staffed by students where dogs can be kept while students at class. There is a “pet council” in place evaluate problems that arise, and if an animal is causing problems, the pet can be evicted from the dorms. More than 40 students and their pets will be residing their this fall.

Photo by Stephen’s College

Who exactly thought this was a good idea? The majority of college age students have a hard enough time being responsible for their own care while they’re living in dorms – adding a dog to the mix to it is downright irresponsible. This policy encourages young people in the midst of a very important transitional period of life to make impulsive purchases of pets that live well over a decade and require extensive training, attention and monetary care. What happens if there is a problem and the “pet council” deems that a pet isn’t fit for dorm life? Where does that pet go from there? Does the college offer resources for students that purchased animals while living on campus and now have nowhere for them to go? Also there is no weight restriction on pets, however the campus practices breed specific legislation and bans the following dog breeds: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chows, and Akitas – honestly, in this case I think the whole policy should be banned! Pets are a privlidge, not a right and while a student is putting in long classroom hours, is it really fair to have them depending on you?

While I understand this may be a gimmick to attract students, perhaps they should provide credits for volunteering at local shelters as opposed to sending canines to college.

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