Searcy Hall, nicknamed the pet central dormitory on Stephens College campus will be home to 30 incoming freshmen who have requested to bring along a pet to campus when they arrive this fall to begin classes.
The dorm will feature a makeshift kennel on the first floor that will be fully staffed by work-study students who will offer temporary boarding and maybe even pet baths to keep all the Fidos and Rovers clean.
There is even a pet council at the college, comprised of students and faculty members that enforce strict guidelines. Students may get into trouble with the board if their pets’ barks are too loud. In addition, students are not allowed to bring their pets into classrooms or lounges in case students nearby have allergies.
The project comes from reports that students who move away from home experience anxiety when forced to leave behind their pets. By allowing the pets to be brought to campus and to live in the dormitory, the hope is that it will ease the student’s adjustment into college life.
“It’s harder and harder for students to leave home. Bringing this particular piece of home with them may make that separation easier,” said Dianne Lynch, President of Stephens College.
Also, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the State University of New York at Canton both allow cats in some dorm rooms and Washington & Jefferson College has created dorms for students with dogs or cats.
Additionally, Eckerd College in South Florida permits dogs, cats and also snakes as long as the snakes are less than six feet long and non-venomous.
I forecast that universities across America will have to embrace this trend to keep up a competitive enrollment rate.