The New York Times has another story about what those wacky colleges and universities are up to. This one focuses on Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, which has a residence hall for students and their pets. Not just fish, not just cats, but dogs too. Even dogs that weigh more than 40 lbs. A board of students and faculty members governs the students with pet privileges, and can revoke a student’s permission to have a pet on-campus if the student doesn’t take proper care of her animal.
Meredith Whipple, our editorial intern, wrote about a similar program at Stetson University.
Stephens College administrators say the program has gone smoothly, with only a few violations of policy. They say the students who bring pets to campus tend to be organized and hard-working. Skeptics, however, say the frantic pace of campus life and good animal care don’t mix. They worry animals will spend long periods of time alone in their owners’ rooms, and that pets will be abandoned after the academic year is over. On a New York Times blog, Deb Duren, Vice President for Student Services at Stephens, is fielding questions on their pet-friendly policy. There are also a number of comments from readers; some are positive, others are very skeptical.
Are these and other factors ones your institution considered when allowing or disallowing pets in residence halls?