Pet policy goes unnoticed by UMass students

By Anna Jolliffe


The University of Massachusetts’ pet policy prohibits all animals – excluding some “assist animals” – from campus buildings.

Some students aren’t aware of it.

Graduate student Adam Johnson, who lives in Southwest, said he didn’t know about the policy, and was “a little shocked” to find out about it.

He said the policy made a lot of sense.

“Obviously, some places you shouldn’t bring pets, like a cafeteria,” Johnson said. “Pets, depending on the size, should be allowed in the dorms.”

He said that as long as the pet is well-trained and isn’t too large, then they should be allowed in the dorms.

Senior John Chang, who lives on campus in Orchard Hill, said he heard about the pet policy only in passing.

“I think having something like a hamster isn’t overkill,” Chang said.

Freshman Peter Russo stated that the rule is “perfectly reasonable.”

But freshman Molly Valcour disagreed with Russo’s position on the policy.

Valcour said the policy is not “fair to the pet because they’re cooped up in a small room.”

The policy calls for any Residential Life staff member to report if they’ve seen or aware of an animal living in the dorms, said Edward Hull, executive director of Residential Life.

“If it gets out of hand, then the RA has to step in,” Chang said.

The animal, then, must be removed from the residence hall, Hull said.

He also said that any students who violate the policy will be subject to possible action under the Code of Student Conduct.

But Hull hasn’t seen any reports of illegal animals in the dorms.

“I’ve been at UMass for two plus years and do not recall a pet report during this time,” Hull remarked.

Hull said the pet policy “was established to provide an environment that would not expose community members to the issues that can sometimes result from animals… allergies, bites, phobias, public health concerns, grounds keeping, damage to property and the like.”

Malea Ritz contributed to this report.

Anna Jolliffe can be reached at [email protected]. Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected]