UR is mulling a proposed ban on dogs owned by fraternity houses. The administration is currently meeting with residents of the Fraternity Quad, where all of the dogs on campus reside, in an attempt to reach a compromise.
The meetings so far have been ?very positive,? said Sigma Chi president and senior Ryan St. John, who owns a dog on campus.
It is technically illegal to own a dog on campus, except for disability assistance, said University Vice President, General Secretary, and Special Adviser to the President Paul Burgett.
Yet dogs have been living in fraternity houses for years. ?It?s because of tradition,? Burgett said. ?They?ve been a tradition for a long time.?
A number of factors are involved in this potential decision. First and foremost, said Associate Dean of Students Ken Rockensies, is safety. ?Dogs are unpredictable. In the right situation, a dog might snap at someone,? he said.
There was at least one incident of a dog attack last year. This, Burgett said, is why the issue came up.
Another issue is that if someone gets bitten, ?it becomes a liability issue,? Rockensies said. UR could be sued.
For this reason, UR is one of only a small number of schools that currently do overlook rules and allow dogs to live on campus.
?Their main concern,? St. John, said ?are house dogs that roam around and get yelled at.?
?We own and make commitments to these dogs,? St. John said. ?Most of us hope to have these dogs into our 30s.?
It?s an issue of security and insurance, said Rockensies.
?I want to convey that we?re not dog-haters,? he said. ?I have a dog,? he said pointing to a picture of his dog that he has on his desk in his office.
For now, the administration, members of the Fraternity Quad, both dog-owners and non-dog- owners, will try to reach a solution that pleases all.
?The University has been very open to suggestions,? St. John said.
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