A warning from the Teddy Hall Dean telling students to remove any pets, including fish, from their rooms this week was met with little dissent and a whole school of fish puns.
Dean Robert Whittaker reminded the student body “It is forbidden to keep pets, livestock or stuffed animals on college property,” following the reports of two JCR members keeping fish in their college rooms.
He ordered any pet owners to “make arrangements to have said animal or animals removed elsewhere” within two days time.
JCR president Angela Dudley said: “College skated over the issue. This was a brief reminder sent round to the JCR after a few students were keeping fish in their rooms [...] The general consensus was that they had no sole as rooms are clearly not the plaice for fish [...] No pets have been harmed during this reminder.”
Welfare Officer Matthew Bell agreed, adding: “The reminder was not ill-received, and so there was no need for me to carp on about it as Welfare Officer.”
Teddy Hall student Michael Rundle, however, expressed his dissention both to the rule and the reminder. He said: “A fair few people interpreted ‘stuffed animals’ as meaning ‘cuddly toys’ rather than ‘taxidermied moose heads’.”
Instead of the current ban, Rundle suggested: “a ban on anything that is a carrier of serious transmittable diseases” noting that “no-one likes rabies”. “Goldfish are fairly innocuous and I don’t think they’re riddled with virulent diseases.”
He suggested other grounds for banning pets including: “needing regular care”, “having legs”, “having the ability to escape”, or “insisting on doing a poo on everything it can find”.
The JCR’s plan to buy a college tortoise “flies in the face of the ban,” he added.
Dean Whittaker said: “The ban on keeping pets in student rooms is a long standing college rule, circulated verbatim from the regulations for junior members […] I have received no reaction or comments whatsoever from the Junior Members of the college.”