Emotional Support Animal (ESAs) at school
Emotional Support Animal (ESAs) at school
Emotional Support Animal (ESAs) at school

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Category

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Resident Dynamics

Resident Dynamics

Resident Dynamics

Resident Dynamics

#collegeESA

#emotionalsupportanimals

#mentalhealth

#collegeaccommodation

#stressrelief

#socialinteraction

#responsibility

#housingpolicies

#allergies

#petcare

#propertymanagement

#housingplatform

#roommatematches

#collegeadmin

#highereducation

#studentlife

Emotional Support Animal (ESAs) at school

Category

Resident Dynamics

#collegeESA

#emotionalsupportanimals

#mentalhealth

#collegeaccommodation

#stressrelief

#socialinteraction

#responsibility

#housingpolicies

#allergies

#petcare

#propertymanagement

#housingplatform

#roommatematches

#collegeadmin

#highereducation

#studentlife

Resident Dynamics

Resident Dynamics

Resident Dynamics

Pros And Cons of Having An ESA In College

Students might want an emotional support animal (ESA) to live with them in college housing, like residence halls. There are advantages and disadvantages to allowing these animals in your accommodation, and it's important to create rules and policies if you decide to do so. 

This guide will outline the pros and cons of having an ESA in college housing. You'll also discover how a property management platform can make it easier to handle accommodation requests from residents with support animals. 

The Role of Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) In Colleges

ESAs can offer therapeutic benefits such as comfort and companionship to students with mental health or psychiatric disabilities. Unlike service animals, they don't perform tasks such as retrieving items or alerting their owners. Instead, they provide emotional relief to college students who suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions during their time at college. 

Domesticated creatures like cats, dogs, and rabbits are typically considered ESAs. However, no federal law specifies what type of animal falls under this category. It's up to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other healthcare professional to determine whether someone needs an ESA to help manage their condition. 

ESAs have protections under the Fair Housing Act. That means you can't stop a student with one of these animals from living in your college accommodation. Nor can you charge students with ESAs additional rent or charges.

Pros of Having An ESA In College

Emotional support animals in college can provide support, reduce stress, increase social interaction, and offer other benefits for students.

1. Emotional Support And Stress Reduction

ESAs can read emotional cues from their owners and provide physical contact and attention. This kind of emotional support can help students manage their mental disabilities. 

When a person cuddles an ESA or other type of domesticated animal, oxytocin is released in their brain. This neurotransmitter decreases blood pressure and heart rate, lowering stress levels. By reducing stress with an ESA, a student might be in a better mood, sleep better, and have a more positive college experience. 

2. Increased Social Interaction

Caring for an ESA encourages interaction. For example, a student might engage with others when taking their dog for a walk around campus. This improves the student's confidence and social skills and makes them feel like they are part of the college community. 

People on campus might also want to pet dogs for college students or other ESAs, resulting in greater interaction. This can lead to new social connections that help students overcome anxiety or other mental issues.

3. Enhanced Sense of Responsibility

Looking after any animal is a big responsibility. Students will have to feed, wash, and pay attention to their ESA while meeting the demands of school. This commitment can provide focus in their lives and make it easier for them to prioritize tasks — a skill that's extremely useful when studying at college. 

The responsibility of looking after an ESA can give students a sense of purpose. Research shows that people with purpose sleep better, have a stronger immune system, experience better cognitive function, and have lower stress levels. All of these benefits can help students who struggle with their mental health.

Cons of Having An ESA In College

ESAs can also pose various challenges for your college. For instance, these animals require a financial commitment and can affect students with allergies.

1. Housing Restrictions And Policies

You'll need to create procedures for students with ESAs in college accommodation, which can be time-consuming. First, you'll want to ensure that an animal is a genuine ESA, not just a regular pet. You can ask students to provide a letter from a mental health professional that clarifies this before an animal moves into one of your properties.

You will also need to include policies about ESAs in leases. Include a clause that you can refuse an animal living on your property if it poses a direct threat to the nature of your business, which the law allows. You should also confirm that students are responsible for feeding, maintaining, and controlling their ESAs and providing veterinary care without any assistance from your college. 

2. Allergies And Phobias

Up to 20% of the world's population has a cat or dog allergy. So, you'll need to consider the needs of all your students, including those with animal allergies. People with allergies can experience symptoms such as nasal congestion, facial pressure, and itchy eyes that make it difficult to focus on their studies. 

You can overcome this problem by not placing ESA owners in the same accommodation as students with animal allergies. The right housing platform will let you collect information from potential residents before they move into your properties and improve your roommate matches. 

3. Time And Financial Commitment

Looking after an ESA requires time and money. For example, a student might need to take time out of their day to look after an emotional support kitten or get a job to buy pet food. 

You might want to make it clear in welcome documents and literature that students with ESAs have specific responsibilities they need to fulfill. That can encourage them to manage their time effectively and find the money to look after an animal. 

Get a Housing Platform That Adapts To Your Needs

Property management software lets you manage requests from students wanting to move into your campus housing. You can create rules that take into account students' requirements and preferences, resulting in more successful roommate matches. For example, you can place an animal lover in the same accommodation as a student with an ESA. This digital process removes the need to print out application forms and send them to potential residents, making the college housing process a lot easier. 

Housing.Cloud is a student housing management tool that connects to your current student information systems, allowing you to handle accommodation requests more effectively. Purpose-built with the latest technology, it's an affordable solution for all colleges, including small schools. 

Request a demo of Housing.Cloud now and enhance your college housing process.

Team Housing.Cloud

Team Housing.Cloud

Team Housing.Cloud

Team Housing.Cloud

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Team Housing.Cloud

Dec 13, 2023

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Housing.Cloud empowers housing professionals to deliver exceptional student experiences by simplifying inefficiencies and operational workarounds with one, scalable platform.

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Office:

1850 Amsterdam Ave;

New York, NY 10031

Phone Number:

(848) 279-9511

Email:

info@housing.cloud

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Housing Cloud, Inc.

Copyright 2023-2024 © All rights reserved

Housing.Cloud empowers housing professionals to deliver exceptional student experiences by simplifying inefficiencies and operational workarounds with one, scalable platform.

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Connect with us

Office:

1850 Amsterdam Ave;

New York, NY 10031

Phone Number:

(848) 279-9511

Email:

info@housing.cloud

Contact

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Housing Cloud, Inc.

Copyright 2023-2024 © All rights reserved

Housing.Cloud empowers housing professionals to deliver exceptional student experiences by simplifying inefficiencies and operational workarounds with one, scalable platform.

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Office:

1850 Amsterdam Ave;

New York, NY 10031

Phone Number:

(848) 279-9511

Email:

info@housing.cloud

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Copyright 2023-2024 © All rights reserved

Housing.Cloud empowers housing professionals to deliver exceptional student experiences by simplifying inefficiencies and operational workarounds with one, scalable platform.

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