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Office of Accessibility Resources and Services

Emotional Support Animals

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a type of reasonable accommodation that affords a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing by alleviating one or more identified symptoms or effects a person’s disability. This Policy, as subject to change from time to time, explains the specific requirements applicable to a campus resident’s request for and possession of an ESA in University housing. This Policy does not apply to “service animals” under applicable law.

Although it is the policy of HPU that residents are generally prohibited from having animals of any type in University housing, HPU will consider a request by a resident with a disability for a reasonable accommodation to allow an ESA consistent with this Policy. Before a Resident may bring a requested ESA to campus, the Resident must be approved by OARS for a reasonable accommodation under this Policy.

Resident Request Process

New students requesting an ESA as a housing accommodation must:

  1. Go to the OARS COMPASS Portal. (Login using your HPU username and password)
  2. Complete the online application.
  3. Submit the Request for Accessible Housing form signed by a qualified medical professional.
  4. Submit ESA Health Documentation which includes up-to-date vaccinations and proof of flea and tick treatment.
  5. Complete an In Case of Emergency (ICE) removal form. This will require the Resident to identify an off-campus person who is not a current HPU student who will take possession of the animal if the animal must be excluded from campus under Section VI of the ESA Policy.
  6. Set up an appointment with an Accessibility Specialist to review the request.
  7. Review and sign the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal.
  8. Optionally receive an identification tag and door decal for the ESA.

Returning students requesting an ESA as a housing accommodation must:

  1. Go to the OARS COMPASS Portal. (Login using your HPU username and password)
  2. Complete the ESA Renewal Signup.
  3. Submit ESA Health Documentation which includes up-to-date vaccinations and proof of flea and tick treatment.
  4. Complete an In Case of Emergency (ICE) removal form. This will require the Resident to identify an off-campus person who is not a current HPU student who will take possession of the animal if the animal must be excluded from campus under Section VI of the ESA Policy.
  5. Set up an appointment with an Accessibility Specialist to review the request.
  6. Review and sign the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal.
  7. Optionally receive an identification tag and door decal for the ESA.

 

 

Once the OARS receives the required documentation, a decision regarding the requested ESA will be issued. The student requesting the ESA will be notified if the ESA is approved or if the OARS needs additional information regarding the request.  Decisions regarding ESA’s may take three weeks or more after documentation from a Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Counselor or Therapist has been received by OARS.  If medical documentation is incomplete or illegible, this may further delay the decision.

Denials of Requests for Emotional Support Animals.  The University is not required to provide accommodations that would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.  Thus, if a particular animal requested by a student with a disability has a history of dangerous behavior or an unsafe disposition, the University will deny the request for an ESA.  The University will also deny requests that would: (1) result in substantial physical damage to the property of others unless the threat can be eliminated or significantly reduced by a reasonable accommodation; (2) pose an undue financial and/or administrative burden on the University; or (3) fundamentally alter the nature of the University’s Student Life operations.

Conflicting Health Conditions and Aversions.  Students with a medical condition or aversion affected by animals (e.g. allergies, asthma, respiratory conditions, zoophobia, etc.) should contact OARS if they are assigned to reside in close proximity to an ESA. OARS will work with Student Life to reasonably accommodate residents with disabilities who need accommodation when living in close proximity to an ESA as may be required by applicable law.