Students walking on campus

Housing, Dining, Service Animals, and ESA

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Western New England University is committed and dedicated to making its programs, services, and activities accessible for all students. We prohibit discrimination based on disability and strive to provide reasonable accommodations to students consistent with the Western New England mission, policy, and applicable laws, as appropriate.

The housing, ESA, and dining accommodation requests process represent a collaborative effort between students, Residence Life, Dining Services, Student Affairs, and Student Accessibility Services (SAS). As part of our commitment to establishing reasonable accommodations for qualified students with approved housing or dining accommodations, WNE provides reasonable accommodations for housing and dining which may include modifications to the university’s policies and procedures, among other accommodations, unless any such modification(s) would result in a fundamental alteration of the university’s housing and dining programs or create an undue burden to the university. Requested accommodations must be reasonable and are required to address the documented disability.

All students seeking housing, dining, and/or ESA SAS-approved accommodations must:

  1. Complete the SAS Intake Form.
  2. Provide supporting medical documentation, additional documentation may be requested in the event that the documentation provided does not provide appropriate detail.
  3. Participate in a SAS Welcome Meeting.
  4. Complete the ESA Documents provided during the Welcome Meeting (only applicable if seeking an ESA-related housing accommodation approval)

Western New England University is a residential campus. To the extent feasible, housing accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities or significant medical conditions. Students' preferences for specific housing spaces will be considered by WNE ResLife staff, rarely does SAS staff assign a specific housing space, and only when related to the students’ diagnosed disability.

Students who need housing accommodations must complete the standard WNE housing process and also must submit their request for accommodation to the Office of Student Accessibility Services with supporting medical documentation by the appropriate deadlines established by ResLife. Failure to submit complete information by these deadlines may delay or prevent the university from meeting the request.

Service Animals

Western New England University is committed to ensuring equal access to the campus for disabled students, staff, faculty, guests, and visitors who will be accompanied on campus by service animals. Service Animals may travel with their handler throughout the college, except where restrictions apply for health and safety reasons.

Service animals are defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act as dogs (or miniature horses, with certain qualifications) that are trained to perform one or more specific tasks for a person with a disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. In determining if an animal is a service animal, staff may only ask the following questions: (1) is this a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform.

Emotional Support Animals

The college will permit Emotional Support Animals (ESA) to reside in the residence halls with students with documented disabilities, where necessary as a reasonable accommodation. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Approval for an emotional support animal can take a month or more and is not guaranteed. Additionally, students seeking an ESA as a SAS-approved accommodation are required to provide documentation as to the animals’ health status (vet and vaccination records), roommate signatures (as applicable), and complete an ESA document provided to students during the SAS Welcome Meeting.

Emotional Support Animals must be contained within the assigned residential area (room, suite, and apartment) at all times, except when transported outside the residential area in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness. Emotional Support Animals may not be present in any other campus buildings. When outside the residence, the handler of a support animal shall carry proof that the animal is an approved animal.