Should Pets Be Allowed On Campus?


College can be stressful and lonely for the student who first sets foot on campus. Feelings of homesickness, isolation even depression can set in as students seek to get used to new surroundings. For those people continuing to suffer semester after semester one solution may help out: bringing their favorite pet to school with them.

Pet Friendly

Stetson University in Deland, Florida is planning to do just that beginning with the Fall 2010 semester. The university has announced that its Nemec Hall will become its first pet-friendly residence hall, welcoming dogs, cats, gerbils, mice, rats and other furry friends to its environment. Yes, one college hall will become a modern day animal house, allowing pets and people to co-exist.

jumping rabbit“If they can bring Fido, or one of the Fidos, the family pet with them to school, it’s going to help with that transition and really help with them feeling comfortable,” said Dean of Students Rina Tovar.

Nemec Hall

Stetson is setting aside 36 pet-friendly rooms in Nemec Hall with dogs welcomed as long as they weigh 30 pounds or less. Those canines exhibiting an aggressive behavior will be barred from campus with pets restricted to the dorm building and the campus. A dog park is currently under construction and a pet council will oversee the pet program. Students may bring only one pet who must be registered, pay a fee and include a security deposit.

Under no circumstances will pets be allowed to accompany students to classroom buildings or university offices.

Pet Care

Students will be required to provide proper care for their pets with Tovar expecting that Stetson’s pet population will be well-loved. “These animals are going to have great lives here – a lot of attention!” she said.

Stetson University is located in central Florida and has 2700 human students registered. The school was founded in the 1880s as a private Baptist affiliated school. Stetson was chartered as a university in 1947.

Other Schools

Stetson isn’t the only institution of higher learning that allows pets on campus, particularly in dorm rooms. New Mexico State University allows students to bring one dog or two cats, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters and other pets. Or, students can bring their fish tank with no limit on the number of fish allowed. Most schools that do not allow pets make an exception for fish tanks and guide dogs.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons


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