PCP: Pets in dorms would help students

Lindsay Bookout

Abbi Pittman

The following is part of a Point / Counter-Point debating whether or not certain pets should be allowed in dorm rooms.

Read the counter-point here.

Lindsay BookoutMany freshmen and sophomores in transition from living at home to living at school find themselves lonely, despite being surrounded by other people in the same situation.

This is a very stressful, lonely period, and some students can find themselves isolated or overwhelmed with this change.

An animal companion might be just what many need to help them through.

I believe that certain pets should be allowed in certain dorm rooms.

Fish are already allowed, and for good reason. They’re small, don’t take up much space and are easy to care for and inexpensive to maintain.

But many small rodents and reptiles are the exact same way. They only need a clean cage, water, food and love, and they’ll thrive.

Sure, caring for a hamster or a gecko is a little more work than feeding a fish, but if a student desires a pet as a friend and companion, wouldn’t he or she be happy to put in the extra effort?

Small animals are one thing, though. Cats and dogs are a different story.

Dogs don’t make sense in a dorm room, I will admit that. They require too much space and demand too much attention for a college student – especially a freshman – to have time to handle.

But a cat is much more plausible.

In a suite-style dorm, where at least two rooms connect and share a bathroom (Living and Learning Center, Mountaineer, App Heights), I do not see the problem with having a cat is if everyone in the suite agrees.

It would have a good amount of space between the two or more rooms and bathroom, and wouldn’t need to go outside.

Now, housing brings up the issue of allergies related to certain animal hairs moving through the vents.

This is certainly a problem, but not if the university accommodated students with pets.

Students bringing animals to college could live on separate floors of a dorm, or even in a separate dorm altogether.

Perhaps we could create a residential learning community for pet-lovers. I’m sure there would be a huge demand, and Appalachian could profit by charging an extra housing fee to students with pets (for cleanup and in case of accidents).

A hundred dollars or so might be a small price to pay to for some who need their companion at college with them.

Now, I don’t condone animals for novelty. Anyone who wants a pet must be willing to give it all the care and attention it needs.

But if students are fiscally capable of keeping their pets and know it will reduce their stress levels (as animals have been proven to do), there is no reason why Appalachian should stand in their way.

Bookout, a sophomore English and French major from Charlotte, is an intern news reporter.