Should Emotional Support Animals Be Allowed On College Campuses?
Imagine sitting in your college dorm room at 11 o’clock at night. All of the school counsellors are asleep and you’re completely alone.
Your teachers packed you with homework and there’s no way you’ll be able to go to bed at a reasonable time. Although this is the college life, it’s unhealthy and leaving you with constant panic attacks and excessive amounts of stress. According to Jerald Kay, Professor and chair of the Department of Physiatry at the Wright State University, “In the past 15 years, depression has double and suicide has tripled.” The overload of homework and responsibilities leave students helpless and unable to cope properly. Students aren’t excelling in school due to these issues.
Depression and anxiety run very high in college campuses, proving a need for change. Anxiety is the most common mental health diagnosis with college students, and depression is increasing. Colleges need to do something, or else these problems will get worse and students’ lives will be in danger. According to collegedegreeresearch.net, there are 1,100 suicides at colleges per year. Treating anxiety has become an enormous challenge for campus therapists.
The answer to lowering anxiety is simply, emotional support animals. As CNN states, “Scientific studies do show that canine interaction increases a human’s level of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and blood pressure.” Animals have a calming effect, and at times where students are panicked, it’s a life saver. Ms.Brill quotes, “Theo helps me when I’m feeling isolated and depressed.
.. On wobbly days, he gives her structure because she must get out of bed to feed, brush, and walk him.” Emotional support animals could help students relax themselves when they’re struggling. Some universities may argue that it’s too challenging to fit the needs of students with disabilities, and students with allergies or fears.
Allan Blattner from ABA Journal states, “Residence halls are not exactly places considered to be pet friendly.” People also believe that animals cause too much of a mess around campus. Hannah Mitchell, the WSU’s dorm’s residential director told The New York Times, “The other students thought the pig was kind of cool, but less cool when it began to smell. Dorm bathrooms aren’t built for washing animals.” Although these are valid counterpoints, universities have made rules to make sure animals are not causing a lot of problems. L.
Scott Lissner tells The New York Times, “We use our code of conduct for animals as well as people. We don’t let our students walk across campus and lick people unless it’s welcome, so we don’t let the dogs do it.” You might ask, what can prevent anxiety and depression among college students? The answer is emotional support animals.