Last Sunday St Anne’s College JCR passed a motion which expressed
its desire to bring animals into college in order to reduce stress during the exam period.
The motion read: “The JCR resolves to permit the supervised presence of animals on college grounds during official JCR events, so providing students with another healthy source of stress reduction therapy.” The motion passed with 33 students voting for, 0 voting against, and 6 abstaining.
The motion was purely designed to express the JCR’s feelings on the issue, and is yet to be condoned by the college’s senior management team.
However, the proposal, if enacted, would see puppies, rabbits or kittens being brought to St Anne’s by a local animal shelter. It was agreed that only “de-wormed, flea-free, and vaccinated” animals would be permitted on college premises. Concerns have been raised about having pets in students’ rooms or in the JCR, and as a consequence the alternative of setting up a temporary pen on the quad has been suggested.
The initiative was prompted by Johannes Osterrieth, a first-year Chemist, who proposed it during his hustings for Academic Rep. When later asked about the motion, Osterrieth said, “Everyone loves dogs, especially puppies, and leaving the desk to play with one is quite possibly the nicest way to take a break.”
Certain members of the JCR were particularly excited by the idea of having animals, particularly puppies, in college. Bethany Cox, a second-year English student, said “I love puppies, they make the world a better place. Oxford is a very stressful place for the average young adult and I just can’t wait to get my hands on some puppies. St Anne’s: Our dog-free days are over!”
Other St Anne’s students, however, were not impressed by the proposals. Ben Rosenbaum, a second-year PPEist, said that “I hope that this motion will not detract from the importance of other issues at hand. Although puppies are wonderful creatures, my concern is that people are putting their hearts before their heads on this issue.”