By Emma Ramos
Rumors are circulating that Lakeview Apartments and Centennial Dorm Hall will allow small non-service pets next Fall.
According to the Our Lady of the Lake University Handbook as of Spring 2019, “Due to health and safety concerns, pets are prohibited in the residence halls, with the exception of small fish in a container no larger than 10 gallons.” However, with the exception of service animals being accepted at the dorms thanks to The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act, colleges must also allow emotional support animals in dormitories.
One of the most difficult things about living on campus is leaving our loved ones, especially our furry friends. College students are dealing with a heavy workload – homework, studying, jobs, balancing a social life, etc., and at the end of the day, some of us just want to cuddle and be with our pets. According to Animal Planet, owning pets has physical, mental and emotional benefits. Pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure and cholesterol levels and minimize the risk of a heart attack. Pets also provide a companionship that can boost one’s overall mood by bringing feelings of joy and happiness.
Some campuses such as Yale and Kent University bring therapy dogs in times of stress like midterms and finals. This is a great way to see positive reactions in times of stress. Not only are they adorable, but therapy dogs have the ability to boost self-esteem, stimulate memory and problem-solving skills and have calming effects by reducing stress levels.
OLLU is surrounded with neighborhood dogs and cats who need a loving home and friendly owners. Bringing in stray animals after getting vaccinations and chips at a low or no price at all, is a win-win for both owner and pet.
OLLU is such a spacious environment to walk pets on, including walking at Elmendorf Lake with beautiful scenery. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, walking with your pet has several benefits for both owner and pet, including improving the heart, muscles, joints, waistline and even mental health.
Living on campus has many perks such as community lounges, internet access, free laundry facilities and everlasting life lessons such as patience, money management and understanding different people. Being able to have a pet on campus will not only be beneficial, but it will teach responsibility and provide healthier lifestyles for students.