The Gustavian Weekly

Pondering about pets | The Gustavian Weekly

By Cyan Spicer - Opinion Columnist | November 16, 2018 | Opinion

It’s getting colder outside, and with that chill in the air, many people here on campus are likely to be missing home. Alongside that homesickness that we face, is another wave of sadness for pet owners. It’s easily agreed that the majority of us may even miss our pets more than our family or friends back home.

Taking a step back from the ultimate debate of cats or dogs, there is an unspoken agreement of all pet owners, and that is the simple fact in which we all love our pets. These furry, or sometimes not so furry, friends are the highlight of some people’s lives. I know that I’d much rather spend a few hours watching television with my cats than go out to a party. 

But that one’s just the introvert in me talking. Of course hanging out with your friends is a good time, and allows for some much needed social stimulation, but there’s nothing quite like hanging out with a beloved pet. Which brings me to the main point of this all, should those cute little animals in which we all so dearly love be allowed to hang out with us here on campus?

As it is currently, the only pet a student is allowed to have inside the dorms is a fish, unless there are medical reasonings behind the animals’ presence. This rule makes a lot of sense, of course, as there are many people with cat or dog allergies and their health is more important than whether you get to sleep cuddled up to your dog or not. But even so, there are ways to avoid this allergy conflict, obviously or they wouldn’t even allow medical reasons to conflict with the rule.

There’s also the conflict of dogs and cats walking around campus, possibly causing allergic reactions to occur. The thing with that, however, is Nemo is on campus and nothing has gone wrong yet with him wondering around. Plus, people walk their dogs all over the place, it’s hard to avoid in neighborhoods and parks, students who are allergic should know to stay a safe distance away as they’ve probably have been doing so off-campus.

“If those who are dorming around you are okay with it, and aren’t allergic to animals, then I think It should be allowed,” First-year Gena King shared with me. Consent of those around you is very important, and students who are allergic or fearful of certain animals shouldn’t have to worry about such things in their own dorm rooms. Which, although I agree, there are also ways to ensure that students who are allergic won’t be at risk whether it be being near your room, or getting the room that previously had an animal.

 If the school were to assign specific dorm buildings to allow pets, and others to not, that would provide a way to allow students to bring their pets to live with them on campus without endangering other students for years to come. “In some buildings, animals should be allowed. Upperclassmen specifically should be allowed to have pets as they’re older. Maybe there’s some buildings, or floors, that allow animals, and some that never do, and there may be a limit to how many rooms so that it’s a sign-up kind of thing,” Senior Sabrina Fague agreed. There’s a lot to benefit from this for students, as a pet may make a person less homesick and, in some cases, less stressed out over the shift college life brings.

Of course, I recognize that this is a lot of work for the college to go through, and only would benefit a select amount of people. Plenty of students are happy without a pet policy here on campus, and others couldn’t care less about the subject. Those who need an animal on campus, for medical purposes, are allowed to have their pet dorm with them. Though I want there to be some form of a pet policy, and I recognize that there are ways in which the campus could pull it off, I also know that it’s not the more necessary thing for the campus at large. Honestly, I just really miss my cats.

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