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Policy and Procedures

Santa Clara University & Disabilities Resources Policies

These policies serve as the guidelines under which Disabilities Resources delivers services to students with disabilities at SCU. DR reserves the right to change policies without prior notice.

Santa Clara University is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are afforded equal access to the University’s educational programs and activities.  In furtherance of this commitment, this Policy on Assistance Animals in University Housing sets forth the guidelines for the use of Assistance Animals by students in University housing.

1. Definitions

Assistance Animal:  An Assistance Animals is (1) an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or (2) an animal that provides emotional support which alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Unlike a Service Animal, an Assistance Animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany a person with a disability at all times.

 Pet:  A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. A pet is not an Assistance Animal. Pets are not included in this policy.  Residents are not permitted to keep pets, other than fish (fish aquariums can be no larger than 5 gallons), on University property or in University-operated housing.

Owner:  The Owner of an Assistance Animal is the individual who is responsible for the care and control of the Assistance Animal while that animal is on University property.

2. Procedures to Request to have an Assistance Animal in University Housing as a Reasonable Accommodation

1. A student requesting permission to keep an Assistance Animal in University housing as an accommodation related to a disability must contact and register with the University’s Disabilities Resources Office as soon as possible. All reasonable efforts must be made to make the request in advance of arrival on campus.  Failure to do so may result in a delay of accommodations and/or preclude the use of the Assistance Animal in University housing. 

In order to ensure the availability of appropriate housing for students with Assistance Animals, students should contact the Disabilities Resources Office in advance of the following dates:

Undergraduate and Graduate Students Law students
Fall Quarter:  May 1 Fall Semester:  June 1
Winter Quarter:  November 1 Spring Semester:  November 1
Spring Quarter:  March 1  

2. The student requesting to have an Assistance Animal as a reasonable accommodation in University housing must provide a certified letter from the student’s physician, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional, which substantiates the need for the Assistance Animal due to a disability, and how use of an Assistance Animal relates to the student’s ability to use and enjoy University housing. This letter must be on letterhead from the physician, psychiatrist, or mental health provider.  Documentation of the need for an Assistance Animal should follow the Disabilities Resources Office guidelines for documentation of disability, and should generally include the following information:

  1. Verification of the individual’s disability from a physician, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional;
  2. Statement of how the animal serves as an accommodation for the verified disability; and
  3. Statement regarding how the need for the animal relates to the ability of the individual to use and enjoy the living arrangements provided by the University.

3. If the request for an Assistance Animal is approved by the Disabilities Resources Office, the student will meet with a representative of the Housing Office to determine the most appropriate housing.

4. In some instances, roommates or suitemates may be required to sign a Roommate/Suitemate Acknowledgment provided by Housing.

5. The Housing Office may relocate the Owner and/or other resident students as necessary.

3. Owners’ Responsibilities for Assistance Animals in University Housing

Care and Supervision

  • The Owner is solely responsible for the care and supervision of the Assistance Animal while in University housing. The Owner must maintain control of the Assistance Animal at all times.
  • The Owner is financially responsible for any damage the Assistance Animal may cause to persons or property. 
  • The Owner’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks or other pests once a quarter/semester or as needed. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence will be treated by a University-approved pest control service. The Owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in the residence halls.
  • The Owner is responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the Assistance Animal’s waste and, when appropriate, must toilet the Assistance Animal in areas designated by the University.
  • Indoor animal waste, such as cat litter, must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag and securely tied before being disposed of in outside trash dumpsters.  Litter boxes must be placed on mats so that waste is not tracked onto carpeted surfaces.
  • Assistance Animals must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Documentation can be a vaccination certificate for the Assistance Animal or a veterinarian’s statement regarding the Assistance Animal’s health. In certain circumstances, the University may require the Owner to take the Assistance Animal to the veterinary.
  • Assistance Animals may not be left in the care of others overnight.
  • The Disabilities Resources Office and/or the Housing Office may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on Assistance Animals depending on the nature and characteristics of the Assistance Animal and the service that Assistance Animal provides.

 Vaccination and County Licensing

Owners must comply with state and local animal regulations, including applicable license and vaccination requirements, for their Assistance Animals.  The University reserves the right to request documentation showing that the Assistance Animal has been licensed by the county.  Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. 

Areas Off-Limits to Assistance Animals

All areas of University Housing except for the privately assigned living space of the Owner are off-limits to approved Assistance Animals without prior authorization from the Disabilities Resources Office and the Housing Office.

Removal of an Assistance Animal from University Housing

  • The University may exclude/remove an Assistance Animal from University housing if (1) the Assistance Animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others; (2) the Assistance Animal is not housebroken; or 3) the Owner does not comply with this policy.
  • The Owner must notify the Housing Office if the Assistance Animal will no longer be residing in University housing. The Owner must notify the Disabilities Resources Office if the current Assistance Animal will be replaced with another Assistance Animal.
  • The removal of an Assistance Animal for any reason does not relieve the Owner from his or her obligations under the University Housing Contract.

4. Request for Appeal

Students whose request for an Assistance Animal in University housing has been denied, or who have been asked to remove an Assistance Animal from University housing, have the opportunity to appeal such decisions.  Appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the Disabilities Resources Office in accordance with the following procedures.

  1. The appeal must be submitted in writing by the student within five (5) working days from the date of the decision. The Assistance Animal will not be permitted to remain in University housing during the appeal process.
  2. The appeal should briefly describe the circumstances and rationale for allowing the Assistance Animal to remain in University housing, and include supporting documentation relevant to the appeal, if any.
  3. All appeals are reviewed by two staff members, one from the Disabilities Resources Office and one from the Housing Office.
  4. A written determination of the resolution will be issued by the Disabilities Resources Office and forwarded to the student.

5. Conflicting Health Conditions

In advance of move-in, the Housing Office will notify tenants who will be living in close proximity to the Assistance Animal.  Students with medical conditions that are affected by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) should contact the Housing Office at the earliest possible opportunity.  In coordination with Disabilities Resources Office, the Housing Office will determine the most appropriate accommodations by considering the conflicting needs and/or accommodations of all persons involved.  The Housing Office will reasonably accommodate individuals with medical conditions related to the presence of an Assistance Animal.  Section IV (“Request for Appeal) of this policy sets forth the procedure for an appeal of a decision made by the Housing Office regarding conflicting health conditions.

6. Guidelines for the University Community

  1. Assistance Animals are permitted only in the privately assigned living space of the Owner in University housing.
  2. Do not touch or pet an Assistance Animal unless invited to do so.
  3. Do not feed an Assistance Animal.
  4. Do not intentionally startle an Assistance Animal.
  5. Do not separate or attempt to separate an Owner from his or her Assistance Animal.
  6. Do not inquire about an Owner’s disability or the need for an Assistance Animal.

 For questions regarding this policy, please contact the Housing Office or the Disabilities Resources Office.

DR maintains appropriate confidential files verifying students’ disabilities on behalf of the university; these records are protected in accordance with FERPA regulations (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act). Santa Clara University will not release any information regarding a student’s disability without a students informed written consent or under compulsion of legal process. Disability related information will be shared only on a case-by-case basis when there is a compelling reason for such disclosure within the university community or as required by law.

 

Disabilities Resources (DR) occasionally recommends a reduced course load as an academic accommodation for a student with a disability. Unlike part-time status, authorization for a reduced course load permits a student to register for a course load that is less than full-time (12 units), while still being considered a full-time student. Students authorized for a reduced course load are entitled to all services enjoyed by full-time students. However, financial aid is reduced by the percentage of reduction from 12 units.

While students will only be billed for courses in which they are actually enrolled, all other charges will apply. Students authorized for a reduced course load must be registered for a minimum of eight (8) credits and a maximum of eleven (11) credits. Twelve credits is considered by the University to be a full-time courseload.

Santa Clara University is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are afforded equal access to the University’s educational programs and activities.  In furtherance of this commitment, this Policy on Service Animals in University housing sets forth the guidelines for the use of Service Animals by students in University-operated housing.

1. Definitions

Service Animal:  A Service Animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  In some cases, a miniature horse may be permitted as a Service Animal.  Other animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not Service Animals. Examples of such work or tasks performed by a Service Animal may include assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or disruptive behavior. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a Service Animal 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.

Service Animal In Training:  An animal that is in the process of being trained to be a Service Animal is treated as a Service Animals under this policy.  Individuals qualified to train animals to be Service Animals are afforded the same rights as those individuals who require the assistance of a Service Animal. If you are training an animal to be a Service Animal, you must contact the Disabilities Resources Office and comply with the requirements set forth in this policy.

Pet:  A pet is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship.  A pet is not a Service Animal. Pets are not included this policy.  Residents are not permitted to keep pets, other than fish (fish aquariums can be no larger than 5 gallons), on University property or in University-operated housing.

Owner:  The Owner of a Service Animal is the individual who is responsible for the care and control of the Service Animal while that animal is on University property.

2. Procedures for Service Animals in University Housing

Students who will be accompanied by a Service Animal in University housing must contact the University’s Disabilities Resources Office prior to move-in. Once information is received from the Disabilities Resources Office, the Housing Office will work to ensure that students with Service Animals are assigned to the most appropriate University housing location depending upon the students’ needs and preferences. Owners will be required to complete the Service Animal Registration Form provided by the Housing Office.

In order to ensure the availability of appropriate housing for students with Service Animals, students should contact the Disabilities Resources Office in advance of the following dates:

Undergraduate and Graduate Students Law students
Fall Quarter:  May 1 Fall Semester:  June 1
Winter Quarter:  November 1 Spring Semester:  November 1
Spring Quarter:  March 1  

When it is not readily apparent what service the Service Animal provides, the Disabilities Resources Office may ask: a) if the Service Animal is required because of a disability; and b) what work or task the Service Animal has been trained to perform. 

In some instances, roommates or suitemates may be required to sign a Roommate/Suitemate Acknowledgment provided by Housing.

The Housing Office may relocate the Owner and/or other resident students as necessary.

3. Owners’ Responsibilities for Service Animals in University Housing

Care and Supervision

  • The Owner is solely responsible for the care and supervision of the Service Animal while in University housing. The Owner must maintain control of the Service Animal at all times.
  • The Owner is financially responsible for any damage the Service Animal may cause to persons or property. 
  • The Owner’s residence may be inspected for fleas, ticks or other pests once a quarter/semester or as needed. If fleas, ticks or other pests are detected through inspection, the residence will be treated by a University-approved pest control service. The Owner will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in the residence halls.
  • The Owner is responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the Service Animal’s waste and, when appropriate, must toilet the Service Animal in areas designated by the University.
  • Service Animals may not be left in the care of others overnight.

 Vaccination and County Licensing

Owners must comply with state and local animal regulations, including applicable license and vaccination requirements, for their Service Animals. The University reserves the right to request documentation showing that the Service Animal has been licensed by the county.  Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. 

 Areas Off-Limits to Service Animals

Service Animals may travel freely with their Owners throughout University housing subject to this policy.  The University may prohibit the use of Service Animals in certain locations because of health and safety restrictions (e.g. where the animals may be in danger, or where their use may compromise the integrity of research). Restricted areas may include, but are not limited to, the following areas: custodial closets, boiler rooms, facility equipment rooms, rooms with heavy machinery, and areas outlined in state law as being inaccessible to animals.

Removal of Service Animal from University Housing

  • The University may exclude/remove a Service Animal from University housing if (1) the Service Animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others; (2) the Service Animal is not housebroken; or 3) the Owner does not comply with this policy.
  • The Owner must notify the Housing Office if the Service Animal will no longer be residing in University housing. The Owner must notify the Disabilities Resources Office if the current Service Animal will be replaced with another Service Animal.
  • The removal of a Service Animal for any reason does not relieve the Owner from his or her obligations under the University Housing Contract.

4. Request for Appeal

Students who are asked to remove a Service Animal from University housing have the opportunity to appeal such decisions. Appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the Disabilities Resources office in accordance with the following procedures.

  1. The appeal must be submitted in writing by the student within five (5) working days from the date of the decision. The Service Animal will not be permitted to remain in University housing during the appeal process.
  2. The appeal should briefly describe the circumstances and rationale for allowing the Service Animal to remain in University housing, and include supporting documentation relevant to the appeal, if any.
  3. All appeals are reviewed by two staff members, one from the Disabilities Resources Office and one from the Housing Office.
  4. A written determination of the resolution will be issued by the Disabilities Resources Office and forwarded to the student.

5. Conflicting Health Conditions

In advance of move-in, the Housing Office will notify tenants who will be living in close proximity to the Service Animal.  Students with medical conditions that are affected by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) should contact the Housing Office at the earliest possible opportunity.  In coordination with Disabilities Resources Office, the Housing Office will determine the most appropriate accommodations by considering the conflicting needs and/or accommodations of all persons involved.  The Housing Office will reasonably accommodate individuals with medical conditions related to the presence of a Service Animal.  Section IV (“Request for Appeal) of this policy sets forth the procedure for an appeal of a decision made by the Housing Office regarding conflicting health conditions.

6. Guidelines for the University Community

  1. Service Animals are permitted to accompany their Owners at all times and in all places on campus, except where animals are specifically prohibited.
  2. Any University employees or students who have questions about the appropriateness of a Service Animal at the University should direct their questions to the University Disabilities Resources Office.
  3. Do not touch or pet a Service Animal unless invited to do so.
  4. Do not feed a Service Animal.
  5. Do not intentionally startle a Service Animal.
  6. Do not separate or attempt to separate an Owner from his or her Service Animal.
  7. Do not inquire about an Owner’s disability or the need for a Service Animal.

For questions regarding this policy, please contact Housing or Disabilities Resources.

State & Federal