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Emotional Support Animals

» Emotional Support Animals

Chapman maintains a “no pets” policy in the residence halls and apartment communities. However, in accordance with applicable law, we consider requests for accommodations to housing policy to allow students equal access and use of Chapman University housing.

Therefore, Chapman University offers some important guidance for those who are considering making a request for an emotional support animal (ESA).

ESA Policy and Guidelines

  • ESAs are not permitted in Chapman housing until the accommodation request has been approved.
  • Students seeking to bring an ESA into university housing must have a verifiable disability and need for an emotional support animal. You will need to provide documentation of your disability and the associated need for an ESA from a health provider who knows and understands your limitations and can explain how the presence of the animal may help assist with your living conditions. This documentation should be in a letter or statement from your healthcare provider. There will need to be an identifiable relationship between your disability and the assistance the ESA provides to you. Send your documents to reslife@chapman.edu or:

    Chapman University
    Residence Life and First Year Experience
    One University Drive
    Orange, CA 92866

  • The university may approve your request to have an ESA, but not approve the specific animal you were hoping to bring. For example, reptiles and rodents may be rejected because of safety and health concerns, and animals that threaten others or adversely impact the comfort and habitability of the environment may not be permitted in university housing.
  • ESAs are generally restricted to the student’s immediate living space, i.e.. their residence hall room or bedroom within an apartment and common areas in their residential building, other than for natural relief. They are typically not allowed in other residential buildings, either in common areas or inside other resident’s rooms. Moreover, the ESA must be contained (caged or crated) any time the student is not in the room.
  • The ESA may not be left in the care of other residents. If the student leaves campus overnight, the ESA must be taken along.
  • Students bringing approved ESAs to campus are fully responsible for the animal’s behavior and for any damage done. If the ESA is disruptive to the living environment for others (e.g., barking or other loud noises, or significant odor from litter boxes or cages), and the behavior is not changed, a student may be held responsible for a violation of the student conduct code. If the behavior continues, or if there is any significant damage done to university property by the ESA, the ESA will need to be removed from the premises. The student will be held responsible for paying for any property damage.
  • Approval for an ESA does not guarantee a single room in residence. A student with an ESA will more than likely have a roommate or roommates.
  • If a student’s ESA request is conditionally approved, Residence Life and First Year Experience will work with the student to notify all roommates/suitemates/apartment mates of the presence of the ESA in the residence. In situations where roommates, suitemates, and/or apartment mates of the owner object to living with the approved ESA, Residence Life and First Year Experience will work with all involved parties to find a mutually agreeable resolution. Such a resolution may require that one or more students change room assignments.
  • ESA accommodations will be reviewed each year. Students must provide sufficient documentation to have their accommodations renewed for another academic year.
  • Where possible, requests for ESAs should be received by the university at least 30 days before the student intends to move into Chapman housing or begin utilizing the requested accommodation. Immediacy of need will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Emotional Support Animals may be permitted in Chapman University housing on a case-by-case basis. Prior to bringing an ESA into housing, the requesting student must first be familiar with the ESA guidelines in this document, submit a Student ESA Request form, submit a Physician Request form, and meet with a member of the Office of Residence Life and First Year Experience staff to go over and sign the Owner Responsibility Confirmation form.

Health Care Provider Documentation Guidelines

The documentation you submit must be submitted at least once every year and:

  • Be from a qualified medical provider. A qualified medical provider is a medical or mental health professional licensed in the state of the student’s permanent residence or in the state of California.
  • Include verification of the individual’s disability and documentation of an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides to help afford the student with an equal opportunity to use and enjoy university housing.
  • Support that no other mitigating measures or accommodations would sufficiently provide the requesting student with equal access to Chapman University housing.
ESA Request Form

To request an ESA, please be sure you can follow the guidelines/process above and submit a completed request form to the Residence Life and First Year Experience office.

Contact Us

For questions about housing or living on campus:

Email: reslife@chapman.edu

Phone: (714) 997-6711

Follow Residence Life and First Year Experience on Instagram for more details on housing and living on campus.

Disability Services

Accommodations outside the housing and dining areas may be best handled by Disability Services.