Should pets be allowed on campus with students?


Amanda Barrentine

Amanda Barrentine
Amanda Barrentine

How many times have you been sad to come back to school because it meant that you had to leave your favorite pet at home? Don’t you just wish that you could bring them with you, for those long study nights when you just need some support? I know I do.

As you well know, there is a strict no-pet rule in all living spaces provided by Mercer. Which is all well and good, looking at it from the school’s standpoint. After all, for them, pets on campus could provide a multitude of problems that only begin with messes on the carpets. If left unattended, pets could break furniture, damage the walls and even escape. Escapee pets aren’t exactly in MerPo’s job description, either.

However, we are in college now—if the Mercer officials can allow us to have ac- cess to a kitchen, I think we can be trusted to keep our pets in check (or at least I should hope we could). There is only so far a fish in a ten-gallon tank can take you. I’ve been told to get plants, something to liven up your living space that you can take care of. Pets could be that for many students. Even just keeping pets restricted to those who live in the apartments, who have the space to keep them, would be a vast improvement.

It has been proven that having pets is a bet- terment to your health. Did you know that listening to a cat purring can actually de- crease your stress levels? Specifically, a cat’s purr is also known to lower symptoms of dyspnea, also known as shortness of breath, and can promote healing in the soft tissue of bones. A 2002 study at the State University of New York at Buffalo proved that people experienced less stress when their pet was with them than when another human being that they were close to was nearby. Just imagine pulling all-nighters with your dog; what could be sweeter than doing that last minute paper with your cat purring in your ear?

All in all, I think allowing pets on campus could provide a wonderful opportunity, not just for students, but for the community. Students who work in schools or do volunteer work could bring along their dogs and let the children play with them while they work. Having pets on campus would be another way for people to get to know each other, and socialize. Is college not the place to prepare us to become adults? If so, we should be allowed the responsibility of adults, and be allowed to have pets on campus, at least in the apartments.