Although the prohibition of animals on college dorms was a regulated rule, it has become more accepted and allowed to have one’s dog or cat on campus for “emotional support,” especially at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s.
According to the official university website, an emotional support animal is “a companion animal that a medical professional has determined provides a benefit for an individual with a disability.” This means it it’s an animal which provides emotional support to Islander students; pretty self-explanatory. And as long as the student keeps the animal contained and takes care of it properly, there shouldn’t be any issues. For senior history major Sean Donovan, emotional support animals provide more than just emotional support but companionship.
“People should have emotional support animals,” Donovan said. “It not only helps them not feel alone but it also can help with that physical aspect of wanting a companion…”someone” to talk to and vent to and not have them talk back.”
Student opinions on “emotional support animals” seem to be generally for having these animals on campus to help alleviate some of the stress off college student’s shoulders.
Aside from Donovan’s opinion, the feeling is mutual for sophomore media production major Lauren Pack. She said she believes students should be allowed to have these animals so as to make the transition to college not as difficult and stressful.
“Coming to college can be a very hard thing,” Pack said. “Having a pet helps to calm them (Islanders) and make them feel better.”
According to freshman mechanical engineering major Chase Lamendola, all domesticated animals could be emotionally supportive and allowing college students to have these animals to lean on is a no-brainer.
“I feel as if all animals that are domesticated, such as cats, dogs, hamsters and birds, are all emotional support animals,” Lamendola said. “Regardless who the person is, we all come to our pets for endless amounts of love.”
According to Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi’s guidelines and regulations concerning “Service and Emotional Support Animals on Campus,” in order to get such an animal, students must visit with their on-campus housing office and speak to a representative so as to get the papers needed to be filled out to have the animal.
The student must also have a written note or statement from a licensed medical professional and there must be proof that the animal the student wishes to have will provide the needed emotional support for whatever it is the student is suffering from.
It is important to note that some animals, like fish or reptiles in a 20 gallon or less tank, are allowed to be kept in a college dorm room without having to register them as “emotional support animals.”
If you or someone you know is in need of an emotional support animal or service animal, visit housing.tamucc.edu/disability.html in order to better look at the regulations and how to get an emotional support animal.