The University of Stirling has banned dogs in all buildings from January 1 2018 in a bid to secure the safety and well-being of both students and staff.
They released a statement on the portal explaining how they are “committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment” and that the reason for the change in policy was due to the fact that “animals can present particular risks in the working environment; for example, potentially causing and exacerbating allergies, bites or scratches.”
Signs have also been placed around the campus informing students, staff and the public of the change in policy.
Assistance dogs will still be allowed in order to “facilitate full participation and equal access to activities” for all students.
This announcement may come as a surprise for many as dogs have always been welcome around campus, including in university buildings.
Studies have shown that being near animals, such as dogs, helps to relieve the stress and pressures of university. The University of Stirling has run events in the past involving dogs during exam time. It remains unclear whether these types of events will be affected by the ban.
Many students and locals alike walk their dogs around campus and regularly stroll through the Atrium where the dogs are usually greeted by students; happy to spend some time with the furry friends.
It comes as no surprise that many are angered by the change and Salomé Job, a student at the university and dog owner, is amongst those who feel that it is unfair. “They just created new student pods outside that are pet-friendly, so I really don’t understand. I think it’s ridiculous.”
When questioned on the impact the policy was likely to have Salomé commented on how, as a pet owner, it will make life more complicated because it’s already difficult to find pet-friendly spaces.
“I was priding myself on having a pet-friendly uni, and I also saw what a positive impact it had on a lot of students. Having a cute dog to pet just brightened their day, so I think that this is restricting and an unfortunate measure, to be honest.”
Correction: Updated December 21 2017, 2.07pm to add information regarding Ace as an assistance dog. Updated December 21 2017, 2.37pm to remove information regarding Ace and to remove his photograph.