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Back by popular demand: Bring Your Pet to School Day!

The annual event captures the love and diversity students express through their beloved non-human family members, from dogs and cats to snakes and chickens.  

After a long year, ASUWT has finally decided to bring back the very popular themed day event, Bring Your Pet to School Day! On April 1, students can once again bring their pets to school between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. under the conditions that are posted on the ASUWT website.  

A note from the President of UWT reads, “We are happy to announce that our annual Bring Your Pet to School Day” event is back. We know that this event is a special day that both students and teachers look forward to every year. It signifies the compassion, respect and diversity amongst our student body that can express themselves and their love for sentient beings in a safe manner.”  

Students and teachers can bring any of their pets that they choose and can carry with them on campus. They will be required to always be on a leash but if needed, they can purchase one at the main office on campus for $5-$10.  

Collin Right, a UWT student who previously brought his pet snake to school, says he looks forward to this event most. Though Right noted that in previous years, some of his classmates and professors have not taken kindly to having a snake present in their classroom, he believes it’s a great opportunity for his peers to confront their preconceived notions about his serpentine friend. 

“It’s definitely something I plan for every year,” said Right. “Me and my pet snake Ralphie are so happy we get to go to school and meet others. Animals are so important to us. It only makes sense that we incorporate their presence into our community and spark deeper conversations between one another. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter.” 

Those who are fearful of snakes can rest assured that Right keeps Ralphie on a leash as required by the event guidelines, although it is not clear how a leash would stay in place on a snake. While the annual tradition is favored by many, others may not be so keen about the controversial event. The leash rule came about not from Ralphie, but from an incident with another not-so-common pet.  

Two years ago, on the last Bring Your Pet to School Day, a pet chicken named Cluckerface” was accidentally set loose on campus. For 5 hours, Cluckerface was lost and out of sight from its owner and staff members. When they finally found Cluckerface in the Cherry Parks building they saw that she had clumps of feathers missing and left a trail of diarrhea all over the hallway. Cluckerface rushed into her owner’s arms and excitedly clucked that she was now safe.  

Following this incident, staff members put out a notice and warning to all students and staff members that “pets must always be in control or on a leash at all times.”  

Despite the incident, students have continued to support this historic tradition. The sign-up sheet for Bring your Pets to School Day has now officially surpassed 500 people.  

The school staff have now officially required anyone who attends campus that day to show proof that you have been vaccinated for rabies. Nurses will be on hand at campus entrances to administer rabies shots to students and staff free of charge.  As an alternative, people can sign a waiver absolving the university of any liability in the unlikely event that they are bitten, attacked, injured, or suffer mental anguish or any illness resulting from Bring Your Pet to School Day. 

For more information, you can visit the main webpage at UWT and sign up for the historic tradition here: www.tacoma.uw.edu/april-fools. 

Two students converse while cradling their pets named “Ralphie” and “Cluckerface.”  Art by Cole Martin.