An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a 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 of a person’s disability. Documentation is required for any type of requested accommodation. Documentation for an ESA must be from a qualified medical professional.

The ESA Policy explains the specific requirements applicable to a campus resident’s request for and possession of an ESA in University housing.  The ESA 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 the ESA Policy.  Before a Resident may bring a requested ESA to campus, the Resident must be approved by OARS for a reasonable accommodation.

New students requesting an ESA as a housing accommodation must:

  1. Go to the OARS COMPASS Portal and log in using your HPU username and password.
  2. Complete the online registration.
  3. Submit the completed Documentation Standards for an Emotional Support Animal signed by a qualified medical or mental health professional. A qualified medical professional, for our purposes, is defined as a non-family member whose professional training qualifies them to diagnose and treat the impairments associated with the student’s disability. The student must either be a current patient of the professional who completes the documents or have an established history of treatment that is documented.  Each question on the required forms must be completed by the medical professional.  We will not accept notes or letters in lieu of the provided documents.
  4. Submit up-to-date veterinary records of your animal’s immunizations, flea and tick treatments, and/or wellness visit.
  5. Complete an In Case of Emergency (ICE) Removal Form through the OARS COMPASS portal under Information Release Consents on the left side of the page. This will require you 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. Review the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal through the OARS COMPASS portal.
  7. Set up an appointment with an OARS Accessibility Specialist to review the request.
  8. Receive an identification tag and door decal for the ESA (optional).

**All documentation should be uploaded to the online registration**

Once OARS receives the required documentation, an Accessibility Specialist will review the request and issue a decision regarding the requested ESA. The student requesting the ESA will be notified if the ESA is approved or if OARS needs additional information regarding the request.  Decisions regarding ESAs may take three or more weeks 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.

Returning students requesting an ESA as a housing accommodation must:

    1. Go to the OARS COMPASS Portal and log in using your HPU username and password.
    2. Complete the Additional or Renew Accommodation Request located on the left side of the page.
    3. Submit up-to-date veterinary records of your animal’s immunizations, flea and tick treatments, and/or wellness visit.
    4. Complete an In Case of Emergency (ICE) Removal Form through your COMPASS Portal under Information Release Consents on the left side of the page. This will require you 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. Review and sign the electronic Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal through your COMPASS Portal.
    6. Set up an appointment with an Accessibility Specialist to review the request.
    7. Optionally receive an identification tag and door decal for the ESA, if not already obtained.

ESA accommodation renewals through OARS should be completed in accordance with Housing deadlines(i.e. by February 14).

Once OARS receives the required documentation, an Accessibility Specialist will review the request and issue a decision regarding the requested ESA. The student requesting the ESA will be notified if the ESA is approved or if OARS needs additional information regarding the request. Decisions regarding ESAs may take three or more weeks 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.

Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal

Once the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS) has approved the Emotional Support Animal (ESA), the student with the approved ESA (the “Resident”) must sign (through COMPASS) and abide by the following rules and responsibilities.  Failure to abide by the ESA rules and responsibilities may lead to sanctions, including removing the ESA from University Housing.

  1. BEFORE a Resident may bring the requested ESA to campus, the Resident must be approved by OARS following the ESA request process. This includes meeting with an Accessibility Specialist, signing the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal, and completing the ESA In Case of Emergency Form identifying an off-campus person who can immediately take possession of the animal if needed.
  2. Once an ESA has been approved, the Resident agrees to abide by all other residential
  3. The ESA must remain in the Resident’s University assigned individual room except when the Resident takes the ESA out for natural relief. The Office of Student Life (ex. Resident Assistant, Resident Director, etc.) will work with the Resident to identify appropriate spaces for the ESA to relieve itself, based on where the Resident resides.  The ESA is not permitted in other student’s rooms or the common areas of the residential facilities and other areas of the University such as classrooms, academic buildings, administrative buildings, libraries, dining services areas, fitness centers, outside recreational areas, pools, the Promenade, Robert’s Hall Lawn, or other commonly shared public spaces on campus.
  4. ESAs must be taken out of and returned to the Resident’s assigned residence by way of the shortest and most direct path. The ESA must be maintained under standard restraints, such as a carrier and/or collar, when outdoors, in public areas, or in transit.
  5. ESAs brought on campus must be under the control of the Resident at all times (e.g. leash, harness, crate).
  6. The Resident is solely responsible for the animal’s well-being, care and cleaning, including but not limited to regular feeding, bathing, grooming, daily care and veterinary services.
  7. The Resident is solely responsible for the care of the ESA and for cleaning up after and properly disposing of the ESA’s waste in a safe and sanitary manner. ESA dogs must be “housebroken” (no puppy pads), and ESA cats must be litter box trained.
  8. Under all circumstances, animal waste deposited on University grounds or within the facilities MUST be removed immediately and disposed of properly.
  9. It is the Resident’s responsibility to ensure that others are not disrupted by the ESA (e.g. barking, excessive noise, etc.).
  10. The ESA may not be left in the care of any other student or employee.
  11. The ESA may not be left unattended overnight in the residential facilities or to be cared for by another ESAs must be taken with the Resident if they leave campus for a night or more.
  12. When ESAs are left unattended in the Resident’s room, they are required to be stored in a crate, carrier, cage, or kennel. This containment will allow High Point University officials to routinely access the residential facilities for maintenance and other routine tasks without posing a risk to the animal or employees.
  13. The Resident must abide by current local and state ordinances, laws, and regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals. The Resident must maintain and use the ESA in ways that do not create safety hazards for other people at all times.
  14. The Resident’s living space may be inspected for fleas, ticks, pests, and/or damage to the residential facilities once a semester or as needed. The Office of Student Life will schedule the inspection and notify the resident in advance of the scheduled inspection.  If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence hall will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service.  The Resident will be billed for the expense of any necessary pest control treatment or repairs for damage beyond reasonable wear and tear.
  15. The University and University staff are not responsible for retrieving the ESA if the animal escapes or becomes
  16. The University may remove or require the removal of the ESA if it poses or has posed a threat to the health or safety of others on campus, the ESA fundamentally alters the nature of a University program or activity, or the Resident does not comply with the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved ESA.
  17. The Resident will be referred to student conduct for violations of this policy and will be financially responsible for expenses incurred above a standard cleaning or for repairs to the residential premises, including losses, liability, claims, and harm to others caused by the ESA.
  18. The Resident must notify OARS in writing if the ESA is no longer needed as an accommodation for the student in the residential
  19. ESA approval is valid only for the specific animal approved. To replace a previously approved ESA, the Resident must complete a new registration through OARS and provide up-to-date documentation for the requested ESA.
  20. ESAs are approved yearly and must be renewed each year in accordance with Housing deadlines through OARS.

Agreement between the Resident and High Point University

I have read and understand my responsibilities as an owner of an emotional support animal, as outlined above.  Should I fail in my responsibilities, I understand my approved accommodation may be suspended, I may be required to remove the ESA from University facilities, and I may be charged with violating student policies.

 

Student Consent to Share Information

In some situations, it may be necessary for various departments at HPU to disclose certain information regarding the presence of an ESA with those individuals who may be affected by the presence of the animal, including but not limited to Resident Life personnel, potential and/or actual roommates, and neighbors.

I understand that OARS may disclose information regarding my request for the presence of an ESA to individuals who may be impacted by the presence of an ESA. Any information disclosed generally will be limited to information about the ESA and not about the Resident’s disability. By signing below, I hereby grant HPU permission to disclose the presence of a University-approved ESA to those parties who may be affected by its presence, including by not limited to any roommate and persons inhabiting a shared immediate living space.

I further recognize that the presence of the ESA may be noticed by others visiting or residing in the University housing and agree that staff may acknowledge the presence of the animal, and explain that under certain circumstances ESAs are permitted for persons with disabilities.

 

Click HERE for a copy of the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal.

Emotional Support Animal Policy

I. Definitions

II. Resident Request Process

III. University’s Reasonableness Determination 

IV. Access to University Facilities by Emotional Support Animals

V. Resident’s Responsibilities for Emotional Support Animal

VI. Removal of Emotional Support Animal

VII. No Retaliation

Emotional Support Animal Policy

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.

I. Definitions

A. Emotional Support Animal
An ESA is a type of reasonable accommodation that affords a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing by providing emotional support or alleviating one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. An ESA is often a dog but may be from a broad range of species. An ESA is not a service animal under applicable law or University policy.

B. Resident
The “Resident” is the individual who resides in University housing and has requested to bring an ESA into University housing as a reasonable accommodation under this Policy.

C. Office of Accessibility Resources and Services
The Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS) collaborates with individuals, faculty, and staff to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to all HPU programs and activities.

D. Reliable Third Party
Someone who is familiar with the Resident’s disability and the necessity for the requested accommodation, such as a health care provider, therapist, counselor, or social worker.

 

II. Resident Request Process

Residents requesting an ESA as a housing accommodation must:

A. Contact the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services to provide notification you are requesting an ESA.

  1. The animal being requested; and
  2. A completed Request for Accessible Housing Accommodation form completed by a reliable third party of the Resident’s disability and how the requested animal alleviates one or more symptoms of the Resident’s disability.

B. Set up an appointment with an Accessibility Specialist to complete a structured interview. During this meeting the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal will be reviewed.

C. Provide current and up-to-date veterinary documentation for the ESA that includes documentation of animal type and size, current vaccination records, and proof of flea and tick treatment.

D. 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 this Policy.

E. Sign the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved ESA.

F. Optionally receive an identification tag and door decal for the ESA.

 

III. University’s Reasonableness Determination

A. Upon receipt of a completed request for an ESA, OARS will conduct an individualized assessment of the request. 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 University housing policies; (3) poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial damage to the property of others, including University property; and/or (4) is otherwise unreasonably interferes with the operation of the University.

B. HPU may consider the following factors, among others, in determining whether the request for the animal is reasonable:

  1. The size and disposition of the animal
  2. Whether the animal’s presence otherwise violates individuals’ right to peace and quiet
  3. Whether the animal is housebroken or otherwise unable to live with others in a reasonable manner
  4. The animal’s vaccinations
  5. Any past history of the animal’s behavior in University housing
  6. Whether the animal poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to the individual or others, such as a history of aggressive behavior towards or injuring the individual or others; and/or
  7. Whether the animal causes or has caused excessive damage to housing beyond reasonable wear and tear.

 

IV. Access to University Facilities by Emotional Support Animals

A. Equal Access to Housing for Individuals with Disabilities

HPU will not limit room assignments for individuals with ESAs to any particular residence hall because the individual needs an ESA because of a disability. HPU will not ask for or require a Resident to pay a fee or surcharge for an approved ESA.

B. ESA Access, Dominion, and Control

An ESA must be contained within the Resident’s assigned individual room except to the extent the individual is taking the ESA out for natural relief.  Student Life will work with the Resident to identify appropriate spaces for the ESA to relieve itself, based on where the Resident resides. The ESA is not permitted in other students’ rooms or the common areas of the residential facilities, and other areas of the University such as classrooms, academic buildings, administrative buildings, libraries, dining services areas, fitness center, outside recreational areas, pools, the Promenade, Robert’s Hall Lawn, or other commonly shared public spaces on campus. ESAs brought on campus must be under the control of the Resident at all times. The Resident must be in full control of the animal at all times (e.g. leash, harness, crate). The Resident is solely responsible for the animal’s well-being, care and cleaning, including but not limited to regular feeding, bathing, grooming, daily care, and veterinary services. It is the responsibility of the Resident to ensure that others are not disrupted by the ESA (e.g. barking, excessive noise, etc.).

 

V. Resident’s Responsibilities for Emotional Support Animal

The Resident must agree to abide by the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal.

If the University grants a Resident’s request to live with an ESA, the Resident is solely responsible for the custody and care of the ESA and must meet the following requirements:

A. General Responsibilities

  1. The Resident must abide by current city, county, and state ordinances, laws, and/or regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals. It is the Resident’s responsibility to know and understand these ordinances, laws, and regulations. The University has the right to require documentation of compliance with such ordinances, laws, and/or regulations, which may include a vaccination certificate. The University reserves the right to request documentation showing that the animal has been licensed.
  2. The Resident is solely responsible for the care of the ESA and for cleaning up after and properly disposing of the ESA’s waste in a safe and sanitary manner. ESA dogs must be “house broken” (no puppy pads) and ESA cats must be litter box trained.
  3. The Resident’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks, pests, and/or damage to the residential facilities once a semester or as needed. The office of Student Life will schedule the inspection and notify the Resident in advance of the scheduled inspection. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence hall will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service. The Resident will be billed for the expense of any necessary pest control treatment or repairs for damage beyond reasonable wear and tear.
  4. The Resident must fully cooperate with University personnel with regard to meeting the terms of this Policy and developing procedures for care of the animal (e.g., cleaning the animal, feeding/watering the animal, designating an outdoor relief area, disposing of feces, etc.).
  5. ESAs may not be left overnight in University housing to be cared for by any individual other than the Resident. If the Resident is to be absent from his/her residence hall overnight or longer, the animal must accompany the Resident. The Resident is responsible for ensuring that the ESA is contained, as appropriate, when the Resident is not present during the day while attending classes or other activities.
  6. The Resident agrees to abide by all equally applicable residential policies that are unrelated to the individual’s disability such as assuring that the animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the residence or cause difficulties for individuals who reside there.
  7. The animal is allowed in University housing only as long as it is necessary because of the Resident’s disability. The Resident must notify OARS in writing if the ESA is no longer needed or is no longer in residence. ESA approval is valid only for the specific animal approved. To replace a previously approved ESA, the Resident must complete a new registration through OARS and provide up-to-date documentation for the requested ESA consistent with this Policy.
  8. HPU personnel shall not be required to provide care or food for any ESA including, but not limited to, removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as a fire alarm. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for the care, damage to, or loss of the animal.
  9. ESA approval is on a yearly basis and must be renewed each year in accordance with Housing deadlines through OARS.

 

VI. Removal of Emotional Support Animal

A. The University may require the removal of the animal from University housing if:

  1. the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others
  2. the animal causes or has caused excessive damage to University property or the property of others beyond reasonable wear and tear
  3. the animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration to the nature of a University program or activity
  4. the Resident fails to comply with any of their responsibilities under this Policy and the Rules and Responsibilities of a Resident with an Approved Emotional Support Animal that is signed each academic year.

B. The decision to remove an ESA will be made based on individualized determinations regarding the behavior of the particular ESA and Resident and not on speculation or fear about the harm or damages an ESA may cause. Prior to removal, a Resident may receive a written warning. However, immediate removal may be necessary for certain situations such as when the ESA poses a threat to the safety of others on campus. The Resident will be afforded all rights of appeal as outlined in the OARS Procedures Manual.

C. Removal of an ESA from University premises for any reason does not relieve the Resident from their obligation under the housing contract.

 

VII. No Retaliation

HPU will not retaliate against any person because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in University housing, including a request for an ESA.

Acknowledgment and Release of Information Consent Form

 

Click HERE for a copy of the HPU ESA Policy.

Service dogs that are required because of a disability and individually trained to perform specific tasks or work are welcome on the High Point University campus and are expected to be under the handler’s control at all times.

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with a mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.  Service animals are working animals, not pets.  The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. (ADA.gov Bulletin July 2011)