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Keeping pets on campus can result in warnings, loss of housing privileges

By Kayloni Wyatt
Asst. Around the Campus Editor

Coming to college, students want to make their room feel like home and sometimes that includes wanting to bring a beloved pet to school.
At UNCP there is a strict no pets on campus policy, which includes residence halls and any other building on campus. Guest and visitors are also not allowed to bring pets on campus.
During the 2006-2007 school year, there were six documented cases of pets on campus.
“Those six cases were first offenses and there was one case that was written up,” said Preston Swiney, dean of Students.
There have only been two cases reported this year. The most common area for the pet violations was in Village apartments.
“Students who live in the apartments think they have more freedom than those who live in residence halls,” he said.
The first time a student is caught with a pet, they receive a courtesy warning.
The staff will talk to them about the policy and how the student must find a new home for the pet.
The staff also discusses the sanitary issues with having a pet in such close quarters.
“We understand that students get homesick and want to be around their pet, but there are safety issues when it comes to pets. Some people are allergic to animals or they are frightened of them, so we try to accommodate that to the best of our ability,” said Swiney.
The second offense for a student caught with a pet consists of the housing staff reminding the student the risk of having their housing contract cancelled. They also double check to see if the previous pet is gone.
Lastly, if a third offense is committed, the student loses their housing privileges.
The pets seen most often are dogs and cats.
“I think it’s equal. Both cats and dogs are found. A student may see a stray cat or dog and leave it food. The next day it’s in the apartment. The school understands the goodwill of students but you can’t have them,” Swiney said.
In some cases, a student becomes emotionally attached to a pet and has a hard time letting them go.
The only pet allowed in residence halls and the apartments are freshwater fish and approved service animals. Aquariums must be less than 10 gallons and there can only be one per room. During holiday breaks, the power in some residence halls will be turned off, students are reminded to take their fish with them.

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke The print edition of The Pine Needle
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Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2007
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