Animals find new home in Hansen

Jordan Smith Managing Editor

Dogs can go to college too. With the new policy in Hansen Hall, students are allowed to bring pets with them to live in the residence hall.

Hansen Hall is allowing residents on first and second floors to have pets in their rooms with them, provided they complete an approval process. Also, residents 21 and over are allowed alcohol in their rooms on first and second floor East. 

Tommy Cox, a second year chemistry graduate student is a CA on one of the floors that allows pets. He has his own dog, Patton, who lives in his room with him.

First and second floor Hansen Hall residents are allowed to have pets that have been approved through the res life approval process.  Pets must have been vaccinated against all viruses and diseases and licensed in the city of Brookings.

According to Cox, there are currently only about four or five pets in Hansen Hall so far.

As for being sure that the other residents still feel they can have peace and quiet, Cox said he is looking in to creating a Google Doc so that residents can fill out any issues that they may be having with the pets such as noise complaints.

“We also want to make sure that people are taking good care of the pets while they are in class. When it was so hot, I had an industrial fan blowing on his [dog’s] kennel,” Cox said.

Erica Thompson Assistant Director of Housing and Residential Life Staff and Community Development said that although there are only a few pets currently, more applications are coming in.

“We froze the pet approval process for the first week of school because it is so busy during move in,” Thomspon said. “Now that the application is open again there are more applications coming in.”

According to Thompson, only first and second floor East are where residents 21 and over are eligible to live. Students must have turned 21 by Aug. 23 to be assigned to the space. Students of age with alcohol must have the alcohol in their rooms behind closed doors and no open containers are allowed in public areas.

John Patterson, a senior history major, said,  “I don’t not like the alcohol and pet policies.”

Not all residents are in the hall for the new policies. Sean Riesenberg, a sophomore wildlife and fisheries major, lived in Hansen Hall last year. 

“I wanted to come back,” he said.  The new policy that allows for pets and alcohol for residents 21 and up doesn’t bother him. “I think it is a good idea,” Riesenberg said. “Having a single room is nice but it can be lonely.”

Other students are living in the residence hall for the option of a single room.

“I wanted my own space, and the dorm is quieter which is nice, but can also be a bad thing, I like social interaction,” said junior early childhood education major Megan Evenson.

Not all rooms are single rooms, according to Thompson. Two wings went to double rooms because there was such a strong returning sophomore class. Some students wanted double rooms with a roommate rather than a single room.

“So far it is going well,” Thompson said. “We are trying to accommodate upper division students and give them the convenience of living on campus but with the options that off-campus housing allows students.”

There is bad with the good, however.

Evenson has a pet allergy, but so far has not experienced problems with the new policy. 

“I was under the impression that there was going to be one side of the floor designated for pets and one side that wasn’t, but that isn’t the case,” Evenson said.

Thompson said that the program is a pilot program this school year and that if all goes well there is a possibility of expansion to the Meadows apartments. If it is not successful, such as if the drinking is not done in a responsible manner, the program will be discontinued. “It is meant for responsible, low-key drinking,” Thompson said.