Emotional Support Animal Campus Housing Policy Updates – The Etownian
Photo by: Emma Pile
At Elizabethtown College, Emotional Support Animal (ESA) policies have been updated with respect to housing. Assistant Director of Residence Life for Independent Living Experiences Dominic DiLoreto told the Etownian how Director of Disability Services Lynne Davies and former Director of Residence Life Allison Bridgeman had teamed up to work on this issue.
According to DiLoreto, Davies sought feedback from Residence Life staff to understand concerns about the presence of ASE in residences. Their collaboration allowed them to update the policy on the AES, in particular to take care of their presence in university residences.
To apply for an on-campus ESA, students must apply 60 days before the start of the semester by contacting Davies. Other housing forms and medical documents are also required to properly apply for an ESA to live on campus.
After ESA approval, students must keep the ESA in their room; however, if taken outdoors, the animal must remain in an animal carrier, leash or harness. ESAs are also not allowed to move in the common areas. Additionally, students are required to keep their ESA contained in a confined space, such as a crate or cage, when the student is out of their room.
Ultimately, the new updates seek to fix issues from previous years. For this academic year, at least two rooms have been taken offline as a result of damage caused by pets.
DiLoreto explained how the policy updates aim to address any issues that may arise from an animal’s separation anxiety, as well as prevent damage to rooms, residences and other common areas. “Make updates constantly [to policies] aims to serve the entire university community, ”said DiLoreto.
“I honestly believe the changes happened because it was just time to review the policy,” said junior Emmett Ferree, a student affected by the updated policies on ESAs. He, like other students affected by the policy updates, was notified via email by disability services of the changes.