Here fishy, fishy

Aug 162006
Authors: HEATHER HAWKINS The Rocky Mountain Collegian

It can be hard to say goodbye to Mom and Dad when school starts, but many find it even harder to leave their furry friends behind. However, students will get a chance to have a finned friend to keep them company.

For those living in the residence halls, betta fish will be available to adopt at the annual “Betta Bowl” on Sept. 13. About 500 bettas will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The fish go quick,” said Shirl Portillos, assistant director of Residence Life. “They are gone in the first 15 minutes because kids form a line.”

Although a tiny red fish may be nothing like a Golden Retriever or tabby cat, it’ll have to do for those living in the residence halls.

“It’s a different and interesting transition to come to a university setting, and we want to provide (students) with something that makes them feel at home,” Portillos said.

Fish are the only pets allowed in the cramped living quarters on campus.

Snakes, turtles, salamanders, newts, frogs and rodents are specifically prohibited. But that doesn’t stop everyone from having them.

“My roommate had a hamster,” said Jessy Villanueva, a senior merchandising major who lived in Parmelee Hall four years ago. “When the cleaning ladies came we covered it with a towel.”

Although hiding pets may sound like an easy thing to do, residents should think twice before sneaking a furry friend into their rooms.

Residents who have pets other than fish in their rooms may face disciplinary actions and be charged for damages or cleaning.

“I think (CSU) should have a dorm for students who want to have pets,” said Villanueva, 22. “If they had let us I would have had a dog.”

But because there isn’t a residence hall available for cat and dog lovers, students may have to settle on fish in an aquarium no larger than 25 gallons.

At the “Betta Bowl” students will be given a fish bowl and items to decorate it, including puff paint, markers and multi-colored rocks, to make an inviting home for their new gilled friends.

Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are among the easiest fish to take care of. They need fresh water and a small amount of food a few times each week, according to

Along with their fish, students will receive a week’s worth of food and a care card with information about their new pet, Portillos said.

Staff writer Heather Hawkins can be reached at

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