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Assistance Animals In Campus Housing - Students (policy)

Office of Origin: Student Affairs
Responsibility: Executive Director, Campus Life & Athletics, Vice President of Student Affairs
Date Adopted: 4-18-23
Dates Reviewed: 4-18-23
Last Date Board Approved: 4-18-23

This policy governs the use of assistance animals in Lake Michigan College (LMC or the College) campus housing by persons with disabilities, as, for some persons with disabilities, an assistance animal may be necessary to afford them equal housing opportunity. A separate policy governs assistance animals on other College property.

An assistance animal is defined as an animal that does work, perform tasks, provides assistance, and/or provides emotional support for a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity or bodily function.

The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities and fulfilling obligations under state and federal laws. In addition, the health and safety of students, employees, and assistance animals are important concerns; therefore, each request for such an accommodation will be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Requests for an accommodation of an assistance animal while residing in campus housing must be supported by sufficient documentation for proper consideration.

The College will not allow an assistance animal that:

  • poses a threat to the health and/or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation;
  • would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation;
  • poses an undue financial or administrative burden to the College; or
  • would fundamentally alter the nature of campus housing operations.

In all cases, the owner of the assistance animal is responsible for the assistance animal’s behavior. The removal of any assistance animal and any necessary cleaning, repairs, and/or pest control will be the expense of the owner of the assistance animal.

Assistance animals cannot be brought into the College’s housing until a meeting with Student Well-Being and Accessibility (SWBA) and Campus Life (CL) has taken place and the approval process is completed.

Documentation related to the use of an assistance animal may be required to determine compliance under the protections of federal and/or state laws. Assistance animals are considered part of a therapeutic intervention; therefore, documentation should include a diagnosis of the disability and its nexus to the intervention.

References: US Department of Housing & Urban Development Assistance Animals Fair Housing Act

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