The next time you think it sounds like a zoo in your suitemate’s room, you may be right.
According to April Yost, resident director of Mitchell Towers and the International House, a rabbit, two kittens and three lizards have been confiscated from student rooms so far this semester. The pets were found in Whitehouse Hall, Mitchell Towers and I-House, respectively. Ken Snyder, director of campus safety, stated that there are always a couple pet incidents on campus, but six animals is higher than average.
According to Yost, students found with a pet in their dorm room will receive a $100 fine and face the college judiciary board. Pets are only allowed in student rooms if the student needs the pet for a disability. Anything that swims in a 20 gallon or less tank is permitted in the rooms.
“Last year we permitted a dog for a student with a severe vision impairment,” Yost said. “The policy is not zero tolerance, but anyone just can’t let a pet live in their room.”
Yost stated that the main reasons why pets are not allowed in rooms is due to allergies and the possibility of room damage caused by a pet.
According to Residential Life policy, students who are caught with an unapproved pet in their room have 24 hours to remove the pet unless they need more time to bring the pet home or find a place for it to live. Pets are forbidden from all college owned housing, including the annexes.
Some students, however, have managed to get creative with the pets they keep in their rooms.
“Last semester, one of my residents had a small stingray named Cleopatra, and another resident had three piranhas,” said Alissa Bleecker, Barington, Ill., sophomore and I-house RA.
Albion is not alone in its decision to not allow pets in the dorms. None of the GLCA colleges allow pets in student dorm rooms, and some students agree with the college’s policy.
“I’m glad that pets aren’t allowed,” said Emily Knoppe, Birmingham senior. “I think fish are okay, but other pets shouldn’t be allowed because of allergies.”
According to Bleecker, it is very easy for students to hide their pets.
“Students can just stick their pets in their closets and we (RA’s) wouldn’t notice unless we did room inspections,” Bleecker said.
While the GLCA schools do not permit pets, forbidding pets in student dorm rooms is not exclusive to all colleges. According to a report in Christian Science Monitor, Stephens College of Columbia, Missouri experimented with an eight room pet floor. The floor began as an experiment in 2004 and due to its popularity has continued ever since, an idea that some Albion students think could work.
“I don’t think pets should be allowed on campus, but I think a building that allowed all residents to have pets would be cool,” said Danielle Hurst, Marshall junior.