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Don’t punish allergy sufferers

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, March 4, 2007

I would like to ask that The Observer submit Patrick Wolohan’s Letter to the Editor (“Sympathy for allergy sufferers,” March 2) to the Office of Residence Life and Housing or be brought to the attention of someone who could rectify this situation. It is absolutely unreasonable for any dorm to have a pet if some of its residents may be allergic to that pet.Wolohan makes an excellent point in that students with allergies are often placed in the newer air-conditioned dorms such as PE to prevent severe allergic reactions. These dorms specifically are much more likely to have residents who are allergic to a dorm pet because of this, and should not have to put up with the possibility of the hall staff suddenly getting a new pet they’re allergic to.Wolohan suggests that there be specific dorms for animal lovers. While this could be a valid solution it perhaps goes too far in that it would require selection of a dorm, which Notre Dame obviously has done away with. Instead there should be some sort of University policy that dorms they are specially placing students with allergies in should not be allowed to have pets that a resident could possibly be allergic to.People may not realize this, and I may not be fully aware of how the dog’s presence affects the girls’ allergies, but here at Notre Dame your dorm is supposed to be your second home. Voluntary transfers from dorm to dorm are not very commonplace here because of this. Thus, forcing students with allergies to either leave the dorm or deal with whatever allergic reactions they may have is the equivalent of a punishment for having an allergy and that’s not right.

James BreenfreshmanZahm HallMar. 2