Students: bring your pets to campus

I’ve written before here far too regularly about the presence of animals in universities and their involvement in student support. From the idea of puppy rooms to ease student exam stress through to support dogs in libraries and, most recently, the decision to allow emotional support animals in student halls at one US University.

I was therefore intrigued to read this story about a private US college which is actively promoting the opportunity for students to bring their pets into their halls as a recruitment tool
The college isn’t only allowing pets but is making investments to make them welcome. One residence hall will be designated as open for pets, the college will offer obedience classes (for animals), a fenced-in dog park is being built and a new coffee shop (the Salty Dog) will welcome students and pets with treats for both.
W. Joseph King, the president, said that dogs and cats have been important in his family, so he understands why students want to keep pets.
The story is illustrated with a wonderful picture of President King’s family Christmas card
Even more impressive is another institution, Eckerd College, which is renowned for its pet-friendly approach. This college even holds an annual graduation ceremony for the pets of graduating students.
The college has rules, of course. Dormitories are designated for allowing pets, so students with allergies or a preference for human-only living have options. Animals can’t weigh more than 40 pounds. Snakes are permitted but must not be venomous or more than four feet long.
Jacob Browne, director of admission at Eckerd, said he can’t quantify how many students enroll because of the pet policy, but he said he thinks the numbers are meaningful. More than half of students at Eckerd, where 90 percent of students live on campus, opt to live in pet-friendly buildings.
Some universities in the UK may be considering offering accommodation for students with  emotional support animals but will ‘bring your pets to campus’ become an active recruitment slogan for any? Provided they aren’t too big or snakes over a certain length that is.

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