The Racquet

Viewpoint: Hamsters Looking To Scurry Into The Hearts of Students

Retrieved from www.thespruce.com

Retrieved from www.thespruce.com

Rachel Mergen, Staff Reporter

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“I think small animals, such as hamsters, should be allowed in Reuter. I think they’re good for psychological health. I think they’re fun and teach responsibility,” Sophomore and Reuter Hall resident Zachary Noethe commented on the debate of the “only fish” rule in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Reuter Hall, along with its nine other dormitory buildings. The rule, which haunts students as they casually stroll through pet stores across the city, is one that has many factors fighting against it, at least in the eyes of those that are regulated by it.

Another resident, Nathan Widiker, said, “I think there would be no harm in having small caged animals like a rabbit or a hamster, but I think dogs and cats would be obnoxious and messy.”

In support of Widiker’s comment, student Miliana Milosavljevic stated, “I think it depends on what type of animal a resident has. I don’t think it’s necessary to have dogs and cats in Reuter, because of the noise factor and the small amount of room for them to roam around. In regard to smaller pets such as fish or hamsters, I don’t really see a problem, as long as the person is responsible and willing to keep up with their pet.”

Not every resident is in favor of the idea of allowing pets though. Sophomore Sierra Schier argued for keeping the rule as is, “As much as I somewhat like animals, I think it would be a terrible idea to allow them in Reuter unless they are a certified safety dog, and even then [they] should be limited, because I know people who just cheat the system to get one of those. There are so many people who are allergic to animals. Reuter is not only for mostly juniors and seniors, but transfer students as well who aren’t allowed to live off campus. People who are allergic and who decide to stay in Reuter will literally be miserable for their entire stay.”

A valid point is made with allergies. Students should not have to worry about having allergic reactions when staying on campus in a dorm, but, to counteract this possibility, could students have to register their pets pre-room assignments, so they may be placed in an area where there are other residents who enjoy and own the same types of animals?

Ashley Rosanske, another dreamer wishing for a chance to own a furry little creature on campus, stated another positive opinion in favor of a small companion, “In college, you need support animals because college is hard. Animals reduce stress.”

“Scientists are now digging up evidence that animals can also help improve mental health, even for people with challenging disorders. Though the studies are small, the benefits are impressive enough that clinical settings are opening their doors to animal-assisted interventions–pet therapy, in other words–used alongside conventional medicine,” Time Magazine reported in an article proving the mental health benefits of animals. “In one study, a stressed-out group of adults were told to pet a rabbit, a turtle or their toy forms. The toys had no effect. But stroking a living creature, whether hard-shelled or furry, relieved anxiety. It worked for people regardless of whether they initially said they liked animals.”

With proper care and knowledge, small caged animals would be a beneficial addition to the lives of many stressed college students, changing their visit to the pet store from simply dreamful to instead fulfilling and welcoming of a new beloved critter.

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