Research done by the American Council on Education has shown that 80% of students reported that COVID-19 negatively impacted their mental health. With students’ mental health being poorer due to COVID-19, colleges should allow students to bring pets on campus.
A study from the University of York and the University of Lincoln found having a pet was linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness. College students are struggling right now. If having a pet helps them get through COVID-19 and school better, more colleges should be allowing pets on campus.
Many college students grow up having pets at home. When starting college, not having pets can be a big adjustment. For me, I grew up always having a cat or dog at home. I’ve always had a pet. Going to college is a huge change, with many students being on their own for the first time. Having a pet with them can help them navigate this uncertain time and help them feel happier and more secure at college.
Being allowed a pet in college can also make college more appealing to students who need extra support.
Simpson College currently does not allow pets except for emotional support or service animals. Simpson also allows fish as long as it’s in a less than 10-gallon tank. While I am glad that Simpson does allow students to have fish, I feel that it’s harder to get that emotional connection. You can’t easily pet or hold a fish.
Pets do cause problems for college housing with hair making it harder to clean the dorms. Students with pet allergies need to have a living space free from pet hair. Colleges that allow pets on campus usually have designated dorms that help with this problem.
With COVID-19 and the everyday stresses of college students have become stressed. Colleges should allow pets on campus to help promote better mental health on campus.