Animals on campus

By Ronald Forsell | Co-Editor in Chief

I recently met with an ideal
prospective addition to the Buena Vista University (BVU) community named Ted. He’s smart, well behaved, fluent in a foreign language, and would be the first member of his family to graduate from college; however; BVU has no interest in letting him come to our fine university.

Alright. In the interest of fairness of this argument and to prevent any anger from our fine admissions staff, let me tell you that Ted is five years old, and even more importantly, is a Border Collie. More specifically, he is my Border Collie. Like most of you with pets, I want the option to have him live on campus with me.

If BVU is going to require us to live on campus for four years and wants our dorm rooms to feel like home, adding Teddy to the Briscoe 16 family would certainly make it feel more like home indeed. Having animals on campus would have numerous other benefits.

A study at St. Louis University found that study participants who had animals were less likely to be depressed or feel loneliness. They had greater self-esteem, greater levels of happiness, and less stress. In addition to those findings, the study discovered that a third of participants felt their animals were better “listeners” than there significant other. Another study from the University of Wisconsin found that having pets in your teens and twenties lowers your risk of allergies, lowers blood pressure, and lessens anxiety. Most importantly, numerous psychology studies found that having a dog makes you more attractive to members of the opposite sex.

Some people have concerns about having animals on campus because of the potential for messes and other things animals are known for. I understand these sort of things can and probably will happen, but the owners of pets are responsible for their actions, just like they are with campus guests.

Some animals are wild and unruly, but let me come to my puppy’s defense. My dog is better behaved than approximately 100% of my suitemates (sorry guys), he sits when I tell him, doesn’t bark unless I tell him, and the list goes on and on. While I know he may be the exception rather than the rule, shouldn’t I be allowed to have him with me on campus? Animals might make a mess, but don’t we all anyway? We clean up our messes and if not, we get fined. Isn’t this the same situation?

Most importantly, Beavers, think how awesome it would be to come back to your room after a really rough day in class and see your dog patiently waiting for you once you open the door.
Much like the Lorax, I speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. BVU: let us have dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets or whatever other pet people want to house and love in their dorms.

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