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Furry Friends: Would You Want Them in Your Dorm?

Students at Bloomsburg are faced with the obstacle each fall of turning their lackluster dorm rooms into a homey atmosphere that they will spend the next two semesters in.

Rugs, televisions, microwaves, and refrigerators are not the only things students use to make their rooms more comfortable. Some students seem to take advantage of Bloomsburg’s Policy of allowing fish in the dorm rooms.

While allowing fish is a common policy shared by colleges and universities around the nation, some schools are expanding their policy to make students feel more at home.

An article published in The Boston Globe stated that several years ago MIT implemented a policy where students who live in four of the university’s 11 dorms could bring cats with them to school in an effort to reduce the desire for forbidden pets.

Stephen’s College, which is a woman’s college in

Photo by Alison Scott
Photo by Alison Scott

Missouri, has also extended their list of animals allowed. The list permits many household pets including vaccinated dogs as long as they weigh less than 40 pounds.

According to a CNN article by Sarah Bliss, “SUNY at Canton in New York has provided a designated “pet wing,” home to a variety of small caged animals and cats since 1996.”

The desire to allow pets could be due to some compelling research that links pets to good health. According to a health article by Jeanie Lerche Davis, “for nearly 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides certain health benefits. Pets help lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. They boost our immunity. They can even help you get dates.”

Is it time for Bloomsburg to reconsider their pet policy?

Currently, Bloomsburg’s dorm policy, taken from the Residence Life section on Bloomsburg’s Website, is that the only pets allowed are fish and the tank capacity can be no more than 20 gallons. Some community assistants are more relaxed with their policies and even allow for turtles or even hamsters.

“I am a huge animal lover, but I don’t think that it would be appropriate to have animals in the resident halls,” an AHD at Bloomsburg Diana Santos said. “The problem with having animals in the residence halls is that some people would not be responsible enough to be able to take care of an animal. Some people don’t take care of themselves the way they should and if you throw an animal into the picture it would be a disaster.”

Along with potential problems of neglect from students, there are also problems of asthma, allergies, and cleanliness that need to be taken into account.

Diana likes the idea of being able to have a pet but worries about the possible situations that could arise from the change in policy.

“It’s a nice idea to be able to have a pet in the residents halls, but I don’t think it is worth all the trouble.”