Colleges Extend the Welcome Mat to Students’ Pets

The New York Times reports on a new phenomenon:

Stephens joins a growing number of colleges putting out a welcome mat for pets. They include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the State University of New York at Canton, which allow cats in some dorm rooms; and Eckerd College in South Florida and Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, which set aside rooms for students with dogs or cats and others who love animals so much they just want to live near them.

“I recognize this as being a trend that is tied directly to the whole notion of helicopter parenting,” said Dianne Lynch, who became president of Stephens last year and who is herself the owner of two dogs and two cats. “It’s harder and harder for students to leave home. Bringing this particular piece of home with them may make that separation easier.”