Disability Services ESA Approval Process
The student will need to complete:
Student and roommates may be requested to complete and sign additional agreements such as the Roommate Housing Consent Agreement (provided by ODS to student).
Important note: After this information is received and reviewed, the first step is completed and the student’s intake file is complete. If any information is missing, the file is considered “incomplete” and no further action will be taken until student delivers appropriate information. It is the students’ responsibility to determine if all the information and documentation is provided to ODS.
Determination of Eligibility
Once the student file is complete, the student will schedule an appointment to meet with the director of ODS for an “interactive” intake meeting by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individual ESA Consideration: Eligibility for a disability accommodations and ESA accommodation will be considered during the interactive intake meeting between director and student. Important: Although student may be approved for this accommodation, student is not approved to bring ESA on campus until the following steps are completed.
- ESA Health Information: If approved for an ESA accommodation, student will continue with the following steps if previously incomplete:
- Animal Information: Student will submit copies of appropriate vaccination documentation and current veterinary Health Certificate.
- Housing Feedback: The student has signed a Release of Information Consent form that will be provided to roommate, Resident Director and other staff at this time. If it is determined the ESA is a reasonable accommodation, ODS will confer with Residential Life and possible roommates to receive appropriate feedback regarding any potential issues with an ESA accommodation.
- Roommate/housing Agreement: Where applicable, the students' roommates, suite mates or housemates will review the Emotional Support Animal Residential Policy and complete the Roommate/Suite Mate/Housemate Agreement Form (provided through email contact by the Office of Residence Life). Roommates and Resident Director will be asked to reply to ODS via email indicating agreement with these policies and agreement to share housing space with ESA.
- Residential Life Review: ODS and the Director of Residence Life and/or Residential Director will review the student owners' request (and as applicable, Roommate/Apartment Mate/Housemate Agreement Form) to determine if the request is reasonable and necessary for the student to use and access College housing.
If ODS and the Director of Residence Life and/or Resident Director determine the requested ESA accommodation is necessary, student will be requested to schedule a second “follow-up” meeting with ODS. The policy and agreement as well as specific information pertaining to the approved ESA will be reviewed and the student will be given an approved move-in date for ESA. Residential Life and other necessary departments will be notified.
College housing is unique in several aspects including the mandatory assignment of roommates for many individuals and the mandate that individuals must share a room or suite in most college residences. To ensure that the presence of an ESA is not an undue administrative burden or fundamental alteration of college housing, Westmont College reserves the right to assign an individual with an ESA an alternative housing assignment, including a single room without a roommate.
- For all requests for an ESA, ODS shall consult with Residence Life in making a determination on a case-by-case basis of whether the presence of an ESA is reasonable. A request for an ESA may be denied as unreasonable if the presence of the animal: 1) imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden; 2) fundamentally alters college housing policies; and/or 3) poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial property damage to the property of others, including College property.
- Westmont College may consider the following factors, among others, as evidence in determining whether the presence of the ESA is reasonable or in the making of housing assignments for individuals with an ESA:
- The size of the ESA is too large for available assigned housing space;
- The ESA’s presence would force another individual from individual housing (e.g. serious allergies);
- The ESA’s presence otherwise violates individuals’ right to peace and quiet enjoyment;
- The ESA is not housebroken or is unable to live with others in a reasonable manner;
- The ESA’s vaccinations are not up-to-date;
- The ESA poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to the individual or others, such as aggressive behavior towards or injuring the individual or others;
- The ESA causes or has caused excessive damage to housing beyond reasonable wear and tear;
- Dangerous, poisonous, over-sized, and/or illegal animals are not permitted, as these would not be considered a reasonable accommodation in a community living environment.
Students may appeal decisions made pursuant to this policy under the ODS Grievance Procedure.