A common thought when moving in at a college is “can I bring my pet?” Many universities do not allow pets on campus except fish. Fish physically are unable do anything to harm the dorm or building and are less likely to jump out of their tank and bark at someone at the door.

Now, say, you’re allowed to bring a pet to campus and keep them in your dorm. Would you enjoy bringing your beloved dog or cat? I know I would. Animals can be major stress relievers and can often times help a student with any issues they may be having, especially if you train the to eat the homework.

Owning a pet is a huge responsibility and for a college student who is away from home and almost always busy, this can seem like a huge task. However, if students were allowed to have pets on campus, they could learn how to better manage their time and money to allow them the freedoms they want. This could also show students how to better care for themselves and their family as they get older.

Animals also might help a student feel more secure and relaxed. While therapy animals are currently allowed on UWA campus, sometimes students feel as though there has to be generally something wrong with them. Simply getting a pet to help with stress can cause the student to be labeled by the school as someone who has an unhealthy mental state. This can have a negative effect on the student.

If UWA were to allow pets on campus, it would benefit both the university and the students. Grades could possibly go up due to students genuinely being more happy.

Of course, there would have to be requirements set in motion by the university, in which I have a few suggestions for them. Any cat and dog would require to be spayed or neutered, have all of their shots, and be leash trained.

All animals should be required to be able to be caged or kept in a tank. A student would be allowed any small animal, reptile, cat, or dog, as long as they are friendly and/or trained. Also, before bringing a pet, the student would be required to live on campus for one year before applying to bring their animal, in which the student must register it with the school. Also a roomate agreement will be required.

If UWA were to allow pets on campus, they could also potentially open up a pet store somewhere in Livingston that is focused on providing food, toys, bedding, and other animal supply needs. This would give students a way of getting food for their pets without having to drive all the way to Tuscaloosa or Meridian in search of supplies.

Stephans College is a university that allows pets. They have welcomed many types of pets for 10 years. Any student who cannot bring a pet or do not have one as of yet can participate in fostering an animal from a local shelter before the pet finds a long-term home. If the University of West Alabama were to allow pets, they could do the same as Stephans College, thus encouraging people to branch out into the community and help animals find their forever homes.

I strongly believe that UWA should allow pets on campus. As mentioned before, they are stress relievers and can help teach students about money and time management. It would also encourage them to reach out into their community and their peers on campus.

If you could bring your pet to live with you on campus, would you?

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