Pets Allowed: A Michigan College is Testing Pet-Friendly Dorms
Imagine a college where dorm life comes with a special perk. Pet-friendly dorms that allows dogs, cats, and other pets. This dream has become a reality for a university in Michigan. This initiative places them among the first universities in Michigan to do so, as stated in a press release. As part of a new pilot program, students residing on the second floor of Cramer Hall can bring along cats, dogs, and other pets, beginning this academic year.
Lisa Ortiz, the Director of Housing and Residential Life, has highlighted the potential benefits of having pets for students, including managing anxiety, depression, and homesickness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), studies have indicated a connection between the bond people share with their pets and various health advantages. These advantages include lowered blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, as well as decreased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD.
Pet-friendly dorms already at full capacity
The university has seen strong interest from students, and the designated floor in Cramer Hall is already at full capacity with around 30 expected pets. Students who want to bring pets will pay a $250 fee and need to follow rules for pet care and cleanliness. They also need a six-month prior relationship with the pet and provide veterinary records showing the pet is spayed/neutered and vaccinated.
Though only a few colleges and universities allow pets on campus, all schools must legally accommodate students with service or emotional support animals, as per the National Service Animal Registry (NSAR). Some colleges even allow aquariums in dorm rooms and occasionally collaborate with local organizations to bring therapy dogs to campus during stressful times like final exams.
If successful, the program might expand in the future, possibly including a dog park. As Ferris State University gears up for the fall semester starting on August 28th, with students returning on August 25th, the idea of a pet-friendly campus brings a new sense of companionship and well-being.