The university would save more money, and students would be happier, if apartments created new guidelines for legal pet ownership.
Currently, there is no system that would allow students to have pets on campus. The current system pushes a fine of $500 dollars on any student, besides those in the West Park Apartments, who has a pet inside of their room. The only allowed pets are fish that are located in a tank no more than 20 gallons, service animals or emotional support animals.
While the goal of the system is to prevent damage to the buildings, prevent allergic reactions and noise complaints is good, there could be a better way to accomplish this. Instead of a fee for being caught with a pet, the university should instead impose a smaller pet owner’s fee, which the resident has to pay in order to have a pet in their room. This would also include a contract that makes them liable for any damage that their pet does.
There are several options that could be created to allow pets into apartments. All apartments could be allowed to follow a similar model to the West Park apartments, where students apply for pet ownership. Another option could be requiring pet-owning students to get signatures from all their fellow residents before pets are allowed. This would allow the pet owners to have their pets with them without infringing on the rights of their fellow residents.
Through this new system, people would be allowed to have their pets without fear of being fined, other students would not be bothered or injured and the university would not be forced to pay out specific funds for special cleaning services.