University allowing students to live with their pets on campus

Students at Ferris State University are allowed to keep pets at school this year.
Students at Ferris State University are allowed to keep pets at school this year.(Hannah Crouch | Ferris State University)
Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 3:22 PM CDT
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BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (Gray News) - Thanks to a pilot program at a university in Michigan, students can keep their pets with them while living on campus.

Ferris State University is launching the state’s first pet-friendly program allowing students to live in the dorms with their pets.

“We know many students struggle with depression, anxiety and homesickness when they start college, and sometimes the answer is to bring a little bit of home with them,” said Lisa Ortiz, director of housing and residential life.

While many colleges and universities allow emotional support animals or aquariums, FSU officials said they want to create an open invitation for students to bring their dogs, cats or other furry friends to campus.

Currently, the program applies to Cramer Hall’s second floor.

Ortiz said students will pay a $250 fee and must follow rules about keeping the pets under control and cleaning up their messes.

Students also must have had a relationship with the pet for at least six months prior to the start of the semester and provide veterinary records to show the pets have been spayed or neutered and have the necessary shots.

According to Ortiz, there has been a lot of interest in the pilot program. The floor is full, and 30 pets are expected to live with students this year.

Cramer Hall rooms are configured suites where two bedrooms share a bathroom and common room.

FSU officials said if the pilot program is successful it may be expanded.

Fall classes at the university begin Aug. 28.