E-town residence hall features new pet-friendly housing
May 10, 2018   //   By:   //   Campus & Community, Campus and Community, Features

Paws, claws and “aww”s are coming to Elizabethtown College.

Starting in fall 2018, the first floor of the B. Mary Royer Residence Hall, will accommodate non-service pets for the first time, making Elizabethtown College one of the few pet-friendly college campuses. Students are invited to bring dogs that weigh 25 pounds or less, turtles, gerbils, hamsters, cats and bunnies, as well as other small and common pets.

Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Allison Bridgeman said the idea of pet-friendly housing has been in the works for a while. “We allow students to have assistance animals,” Bridgeman explained, noting that they must be registered through Disability Services and Residence Life. The animals in pet-friendly housing, however, do not have to be service or assistance animals. Simply put, they can be pets.

“This really is just for any student who wants to bring a pet or live in an environment with pets,” Bridgeman said.

Today’s college students want options.”

First-year occupational therapy major Meghan Glaspey will spend her fall semester with human and dog roommates, and, she said, the housing option couldn’t come at a better time. “I think a pet would work really well for the stress level that we’re going to have next year,” Glaspey said.

After hearing about the housing option — Elizabethtown College has a total of seven residence halls — through an email from Residence Life, Glaspey and her roommate went on a hunt for an available room and a pet. Currently, they are looking at adopting a puppy—a dachshund-beagle mix. “We were excited to have a pet without having to register and go through that whole process,” Glaspey said.

While applying for pet-friendly housing will require some paperwork, it is a simple process. The floor will establish a policy statement, host an orientation in August and require that pets undergo the proper veterinary check-ups and procedures such as spaying/neutering, vaccinations and flea treatments.

“Today’s college students want options,” Bridgeman said. “Students really do have a heart for animals, and that’s something we want to foster.”

Bridgeman also referenced studies that linked connections to pets with mental health benefits for students. “We know that pets impact peoples’ well-being, and that’s something we want to focus on,” Bridgeman said. “We’ve seen animals help people feel more of a sense of community.”

Students are welcome to live on the floor without a pet, while still reaping the benefits of having a pet.

This fall, E-town students should prepare their hands—there’s going to be a lot of petting to do.

About the Author :

Rebecca Easton is a junior at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She is currently studying English with a concentration in professional writing, and is pursuing a double minor in communications and business administration. Her primary interests in these fields include journalistic writing, copy editing and marketing. She currently works for the Elizabethtown College Center for Student Success as a writing tutor. She also works for the Office of Marketing and Communications.

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