Graphic by Nate Barton
If you walk down to Alumni Park on a given day of the week, chances are you will meet someone walking their dog. It’s becoming more common to find a student living on campus with an approved Emotional Support Animal. However, many students may not qualify for a designated support animal but could benefit from the added support brought on by a pet. Pepperdine should provide on-campus housing options for people who wish to bring a furry friend with them to school, outside of the ESA guidelines.
The idea of offering pet-friendly housing options is actually more prevalent than one may imagine. The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, is one example of universities offering a separate housing option for students who wish to have an animal companion with them while living away from home, according to Kate Gahanna’s article, “Pet State: University of Northern Colorado Test Pet-Friendly Dorm,” published October 2014 by the Denver Post.
UNC offers students the chance to live on suite-style floors in a designated building, with requirements such as a monthly insurance payment and separate laundry machines for people with allergies. The college has also partnered up with a local veterinarian to help students keep their pets vaccinated on time.
With the new Seaside Residence Hall coming within the next two years, perhaps Pepperdine could allow students living in the older dorms to keep pets with them. The separate living floors or buildings could help students with allergies maintain a healthy distance from pet dander, as would the separate laundry machines. Dog poop would need to be cleaned up by the owner and thrown away, as one would do on a hike or while walking on the beach. Pets wouldn’t be allowed on campus without special screening to assure that they weren’t aggressive, as UNC Colorado has done, and certain requirements could be implemented to assure pet and peer safety.
As other colleges are taking the leap in creating pet-friendly dorms on campus, Pepperdine should also follow suit.
Follow Nenah Mikuska on Twitter: @nenah_mikuska