A new policy on how human and non-human animals can coexist respectfully will be added to the next edition of our Student Handbook. This language was crafted through student, staff, and faculty collaboration and approved by our Student Government Association. We hope to articulate our community’s ethic regarding the treatment of animals and continue to express our environmental mission as we use animals in an educational context.
Right now, the policy applies to our FFA chickens, critters in the animal room, and that sort of thing- but it also encompasses any animals we welcome to campus through future agricultural, wildlife, and captive wildlife care and education efforts.
Some thoughts from Gary Zane, Vice President for Student Affairs:
With the continuing expansion of our farm infrastructure and increased use of animals for many of our academic programs, we thought it prudent to develop a policy that would encourage proper use of our facilities and their resources, provide a safe environment for animals and our community members, and increase the awareness of the farm (and other animal facilities) and their role in the educational mission of Unity College.
The full language of the policy follows.
Unity College’s Policy for Campus-Owned Animals
Any animals located on the Unity College property serve both educational and experiential purposes. Students have the opportunity within classes and campus clubs to interact with the animals either formally or informally with permission. The UC campus policy has been set in place to uphold the highest possible standards of care for the campus animal collection. This policy supports Unity College’s Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee which operates in accordance with federal and state laws.
All campus-owned animals are to be respected and treated ethically. Violations of this policy include but are not limited to: tampering with, abusing, teasing, killing, tormenting, or inflicting any type of cruelty to campus animals. All signage specifying rules for access and conduct in animal areas should be followed. Animals are not to be removed from their enclosures unless specifically directed by the appropriate staff. Animals should not be fed by persons other than their caretakers unless directed. All Unity College students are encouraged to behave responsibly and in a way that promotes animal welfare and helps this campus to have a successful animal program for all majors. Students who observe an animal in distress, a violation in progress, or one that has already occurred are encouraged to report this situation immediately to public safety.
Penalties for violating the UC policy for campus-owned animals may include mandatory community service, fines, suspension of on-campus privileges and in some cases, suspension or expulsion from the college. Students may also be held legally accountable for violation of local, state, and federal laws.