An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is defined as any animal with a primary role of providing emotional comfort to a person with a disability. ESA’s are not required to undergo specialized training. ESA’s are not the same as Service Animals in that they are not individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. A request to have an ESA within Xavier University owned and operated housing is considered a request for an accommodation and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Accessibility and Disability Resources. Students requesting an Emotional Support Animal must have the animal approved by the Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources before they can bring the animal to campus.  

Xavier University does not allow students to have pets in University owned and operated housing. However, Xavier University recognizes that the reasonable accommodation of an Emotional Support Animal is sometimes necessary to afford a student with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or to participate in the housing service or program. Emotional Support Animals do not qualify as Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA), and as a result, are not entitled to the same protections or right of access as a Service Animal. However, under Fair Housing Act (FHA), ESA’s are considered a reasonable accommodation and students with disabilities can request this accommodation by providing the necessary documentation to the Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources. FHA only applies to the dwelling unit, not the campus at large (Areas include hallways, lounges, lobbies, laundry rooms, refuse rooms, mail rooms, recreation areas and passageways among and between dwellings). 

As with any accommodation request, the request for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is determined on a case-by-case basis. To evaluate a student’s request for an ESA as a reasonable accommodation, appropriate documentation is required by a qualified professional. For more information on the process to request an ESA accommodation, please visit the Accessibility and Disability Resources website. Students are expected to care for any animal in accordance with the guidelines provided by Accessibility and Disability Resources and Residence Life.