Perspectives: Dog Duality on UCI Campus
In addition to the 30,000 students here at UCI, we have quite a few furry friends that grace our campus every day. Brought by their owners, dogs add to the diverse and lively community of UCI and, for the most part, make it a more pleasant experience for everyone. Witnessing a cute dog waddling its way through Aldrich Park can make the slump from one class to another just a little bit easier, and the joy of getting to pet one could sustain one through even the roughest 8 a.m. class. However, bringing an adorable companion to campus comes with great responsibility that some owners fail to meet, lessening the pleasant experience of seeing dogs at UCI.
It’s a reality of owning a pet that you are responsible for cleaning up after them. However, some owners simply don’t and leave their pets’ droppings on campus property for others to find later under unfortunate circumstances. This issue becomes especially important in high traffic locations, when it can affect the thousands of others who have to share this space.
Making the means of keeping our park clean readily available could drastically reduce this issue. In many parks there are doggie-bags for owners to use. While I believe that it should be the responsibility of owners to supply their own means of cleaning up after their dogs, but there’s no doubt that this method of distribution makes it easier to keep parks and public spaces clean. If UCI were to implement bag dispensers for this purpose, I think it would prompt owners who would otherwise leave the mess behind to clean it up, and help those who have forgotten or ran out of their own bags. And if there are still those that can’t comply, it only seems fair that they be ticketed, if caught, like they would be in many other public places.
I love the addition of dogs to our campus, and I by no means want to reduce their presence. However, I believe UCI should be making more of an effort to enforce and promote the cleanliness of dogs so we can coexist in a cleaner, more adorable environment together.
Claire Harvey is a second-year literary journalism major. She can be reached at email@example.com
Dogs are such a joy to have on UCI’s campus. After having three classes in a row, seeing a little puff of joy frolicking around campus is absolutely amazing! However, frequently the excitement that I get from seeing each dog is followed by discontent, because some dog owners fail to follow basic courtesies, such as cleaning up after their dogs or keeping them on leashes.
California has leash laws that, in the simplest of terms, state that dogs must be on leashes at all times outside their owner’s property — excluding dog parks, of course. Unfortunately, many pet owners do not follow this regulation and let their dogs roam free on campus. The problem with not following these leash laws is that it poses a danger to the UCI student body.
Now I understand that not all dogs are dangerous; as a matter of fact, I’d argue that most dogs are tamed and under control. But we cannot forget that they are animals and, under certain stimuli, dogs may lash out and, god forbid, bite a UCI student. In addition, free dogs can also violate a person’s personal space. The other day, I saw a leashless puppy running into students and gnawing and licking their shoes. Of course, the dog was doing this without the consent of the students and many students were startled, if not terrified. Allowing the dog to engage in such actions was certainly the dog owner’s fault, who should have put his dog on a leash.
Another problem is the presence of undisposed dog feces. UCI is a generally clean campus and having piles of dog feces lying around is not only disrespectful to the men and women who take great pains to clean the campus, but also inconvenient for students who step on the feces by mistake, and have no immediate way to clean it.
Unfortunately, the enjoyment that dogs bring to UCI’s campus is countered by the fact that some dog owners have no respect for the university’s property. As a dog lover, it saddens me to speak about dogs in such negative terms considering they are such a source of love. But when dog owners do not take the time and effort to take care of their dogs and abide by laws and social regulations, I wonder if dogs should even be allowed on campus. I am sure UCI students would love to interact with more dogs, but dog owners must take initiative to make sure their pets are properly cared for and cleaned up after.
Sharmin Shanur is a first-year cognitive sciences major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since entering college, I have found that my focused expression only alters when canine company enters my line of vision. My eyes soften, my eyebrows rise, and a smile overtakes my face.
But despite their welcoming presence, dogs on campus are often faulted for their owner’s negligence in properly disposing of their “business.”
I rarely find a student unwilling to take on the responsibility of cleaning up after their dogs, as it is common courtesy and most are aware of the potential transmission of internal parasites to humans.
However, when some owners ignore campus pet policies, and rather than blaming these human violators, students view dogs negatively and see them as a reflection of the lax attitudes of UCI dog owners.
But the reality is pet policies within academic buildings and student housing complexes are already incredibly rigid, and the penalties for improper care are extensive: disciplinary action taken against the student, removal of unauthorized animals from the university, and payment of impounding fees should a student’s pet be detained by campus authority. Such strict regulations regarding pet ownership on campus are designed to decrease disruptions within student housing areas, ensure the safety and well-being of students with medical issues, and control pests capable of spreading rapidly through densely populated areas.
To address the possible problem of spreading viruses to the environment through pet feces, the same careful regulations should extend to the rest of campus. The installation of doggie bag dispensers should be considered as a more widespread solution to cleaning up after pets at UCI. Proper placement of these within high traffic areas, such as Ring Road and Aldrich Park, may lessen leftover mishaps among offenders.
By enforcing current pet policies, along with implementing doggie bag dispensers around UCI, the consequences of repeated acts of owner carelessness may lessen. Should UCI effectively manage Anteater and animal interactions, the student body can continue to enjoy the presence of dogs on campus, perhaps more frequently.
Lilith Martirosyan is a second-year business administration major. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dogs are amiable quadrupeds that have been accompanying and helping humanity through history. The bond that both species share is unique; dogs are known to be “man’s best friend” in Western societies. However, humans sometimes forget the responsibilities and duties that come with such a long-standing friendship. For example, dogs cannot clean their feces on the street, thus it is the duty of their owners to collect and dispose of the feces.
UCI is a public university, and as such it is considered public property. In that sense, its campus is open to the public, but it is open for a limited purpose. The Digital Media Law Project, a webpage created by the Berkman and Klein Center to assist independent journalism with legal inquiries, states that “if a school’s large open quad is accessed from public sidewalks and streets and freely used by the general public with no apparent objection from the school administration, then the quad may be considered ‘dedicated’ to public use.” In that case, UCI has a similar status to a public park, thus dog walkers are allowed to move freely inside the campus.
Due to the open nature of the property, it is not unusual to find different types of organic waste on campus. According to some personnel from Facilities Management (FM), there have been reports of fecal matter on campus. However, it would be erroneous to assume that dogs are the only culprits for these incidents. The same people from FM later added that the sources of such type of waste are unknown and rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, dogs and even human beings might have been responsible for these excretions.
Although animal droppings are not a serious problem at UCI, and dogs aren’t entirely to blame, it would be useful to have some dog waste bag dispensers around the campus for those who walk their dogs, or even students in an urgent bathroom situation. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Sebastian Suarez is a third-year political science major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.