Important forms, information about Accessibility Services policies and procedures, and links to additional resources are included below.

If you have questions about this information, need a form that is not listed here, or have trouble accessing this information, please contact the Director of the ARC & Accessibility Services at tori.negash@cuaa.edu or 734-995-7582.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policies

Concordia University enforces a no-animal policy in its residence halls and campus facilities. Emotional  Support Animals must be registered through the Accessibility Services office at CUAA. ESA's are asked to be registered within five (5) business days of beginning class work, co-curricular involvement, or other school activity. The only exception to this no-animal policy relates to service animals.

This is an addendum to the student housing contract only. Abiding by this housing addendum policy protects CUAA students and ensures the safety of the student and their ESA.  

CUAA is committed to compliance with state and federal laws as the laws relate to individuals with disabilities. The use of an ESA is determined in accordance with these applicable laws and regulations regarding whether such an animal is a reasonable  accommodation for a disability. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis, as described below. The needs of the student will be balanced with the impact that the animal has on programs or other members of the campus community.  

Sufficient information and documentation may be required to determine whether the animal qualifies as an ESA under the applicable law. Documentation is requested to be provided on the letterhead of a treating physician or licensed mental health provider, and permit a determination as to whether:

  • The individual has a disability for which the animal is needed;  
  • How the animal assists the individual, including whether the animal has undergone  any training;  
  • The relationship between the individual’s disability and the Support the animal  provides.  

The University reserves the right to enforce all relevant guidelines for the use of animals through the  Code of Student Conduct (see Articles IIE (21) and IIIC). The University also reserves the right to  revoke permission granted for the campus presence of any ESA whose owner fails to follow the requirements set forth in these guidelines.

Requests for ESA's in University housing and campus facilities will be reviewed under the University’s policy and provided to the Director of Academic Resources & Accessibility Services at CUW or at CUAA.

Definition Emotional Support Animals:  

An “emotional support animal” (ESA) is an animal that is owned by an individual to alleviate the  symptoms of a documented mental health/emotional disability. An ESA is not a service animal. ESA's do not accompany the individual with the disability at all times or outside of University housing. 

Approval Process to Request an Exemption to the General Policy  

The Directors of Academic Resource Center & Accessibility Services at CUW and CUAA serve as the  campus authorities for the approval for students requesting an ESA to be  present in University housing. Students planning to bring an ESA to campus must notify the appropriate campus Director of Academic Resources & Accessibility Services and provide appropriate documentation.  

The documentation provided should follow the same guidelines as documentation required for disability accommodations. The Director of Academic Resource Center & Accessibility Services will then meet with the Dean of Students, and the Director of Residence Life, as appropriate, to determine if the animal in question will be allowed to be present and/or live on campus.  

The determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. If the exception is granted, it is in effect for  the semester. Approval for registration must be sought each semester. If approval is not granted, the  student may follow the grievance protocol for the Academic Resource Center to request another review of the application. If approved, Campus Safety will be notified of the approved ESA and keep a list of all approved ESA's on campus. 

Requirements of Animals and User/Owners 

The University takes no responsibility for the behavior, health, safety, or care of any emotional Support animal on its campus. Any animal used on the Concordia University campuses are the sole  responsibility of the owner/user at all times, and must comply with the following requirements:  

  • The user/owner must have completed the requirements outlined in these guidelines
  • The user/owner must complete the following forms:
    • Request for ESA
    • Medical/Health Care Provider Form 
    • User/Owner Statement for ESA
    • Animal Registration Form for ESA
  • The animal must be registered with the appropriate campus Director of the Academic Resource Center & Accessibility Services. 
  • The user/owner must ensure that animals are on a leash at all times when outside of University housing and crated or caged in the dormitory room when the user/owner is not present. The user/owner must take responsibility for the behavior of the animal in private and public places, and for due care and diligence in the use of the animal on campus. The animal must not be walked on central campus (e.g., Chapel Courtyard), nor around the housing facilities.
  • The user/owner is responsible for any property damage caused by the animal.
  • The user/owner must clean up after the animal and properly dispose of the waste.
  • Use of the animal shall not constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others.
  • If an owner/user obtains a new or different animal to be used under the provisions of this procedure, the new or different animal must be registered and approved. The Director of  Academic Resource Center & Accessibility Services will need to be notified of any changes and notify Campus Safety.
  • The user/owner of the animal must be in full control of the animal at all times. Care and  supervision of the animal is the sole responsibility of the contract holder.  
  • The contract holder is also responsible for ensuring the prompt cleanup and sanitary disposal  of the animal’s waste, and must toilet the animal in the area agreed upon by Facilities Staff. At CUAA, the animal will be taken outside the hall to the immediate area north of the hall, but south of the gardener’s house and not on the Manor grounds.
  • In order to provide for exercise for the animal, it may be taken to the grounds north of the east parking lot, east of the east driveway, only before 8am or after 8pm at CUAA. 
  • The animal must be immunized against diseases common to their species and appropriately documented (e.g., current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag). The user/owner is responsible for the health of the animal and must provide verification from a qualified veterinarian that all vaccinations appropriate for that type of animal are current. 
  • The animal must be in good health. The animal must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian and a copy given to the Residence Life staff. University  Housing has authority to require that the animal receive veterinary attention. 
  • University Housing may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions, depending on the nature and characteristics of the animal.  

Exclusion of Animals:  

An ESA may be excluded from a facility if that animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, or conflicts with another approved animal. This decision will be made by any and all appropriate University officials, including the Director of Academic Resource Center & Accessibility Services, a representative of Academics, Student Life, Campus Safety, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and/or Residence Life. 

An animal may be excluded from a facility if that animal’s behavior, such as barking or displaying aggressive behavior, is disruptive to the other participants within the facility. This decision will be made by any and all appropriate University officials, including the Director of Academic Resource Center & Accessibility Services, a representative of Academics, Student Life, Campus Safety, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and/or Residence Life.  

An animal will be excluded from a facility where the animal is prohibited due to safety or health  restrictions, where the animal may be in danger, or where the animal’s use will compromise the  integrity of other program (e.g., food preparation areas, research laboratories, and areas requiring  protective clothing). This decision will be made by any and all appropriate University officials, including the Director of Academic Resource Center & Accessibility Services, a representative of Academics, Student Life, Campus Safety, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and/or Residence Life.

Removal of Animal  

The contract holder may be required to remove the animal from University facilities if the contract  holder or animal fails to comply with this addendum or existing University Housing policies. The  following describes behaviors which may result in the removal of the animal:  

  • Disruptive Behavior: Unruly or disruptive (e.g., biting, barking, howling, growling,  aggression) behavior is prohibited. If such behavior persists, the owner may be prohibited from having the animal until the contract holder takes necessary remedial steps to correct the  animal’s behavioral problems. It is the owner’s responsibility to contact Campus Safety if  he/she witnesses disruptive behavior by the animal.  
  • Uncleanliness: Failure to properly clean up and dispose of the animal’s waste is  prohibited. The animal must be sufficiently groomed, clean, and free from offensive odor.  
  • Emergencies: In the case of the owner suffering an emergency, and in need of hospitalization or otherwise indisposed, an emergency contact person must be available to pick up and care for the animal.  

In cases where the animal has been removed, permission to bring the animal back is at the  discretion of the Director of Academic Resources & Accessibility Services, Dean of Students, Director of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and Director of Residence Life.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Forms

The following forms are required by students who are requesting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA):

In addition, documentation from your animal's veterinarian certifying good health, up-to-date vaccinations (if applicable), and that the animal is spayed or neutered (if applicable) is required.

Grievance Procedures

Students

If a current or prospective student with a disability (termed “grievant” in following procedure) believes  he or she has: (1) been discriminated against because of a disability; (2) is dissatisfied with the  determined accommodation(s); or (3) is dissatisfied with the implementation of an accommodation, the  student is encouraged to have a discussion with his/her professor to discuss the situation or  accommodation, as well as with the Director of Academic Resources & Accessibility Services. If a  satisfactory agreement cannot be reached with the Director of Academic Resources & Accessibility  Services, the student may appeal the decision via the grievance process. 

Faculty or Staff 

Faculty or staff (termed “grievant” in the following procedure) who believe that an accommodation for a  student fundamentally alters the nature or operation of the University’s programs, services, or activities  are also encouraged to discuss the situation with the Director of Academic Resources & Accessibility  Services. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached with the Director of Academic Resources &  Accessibility Services, the faculty or staff member may also appeal the decision via the grievance  procedure. 

A separate grievance procedure exists for employees of the University (when it is not related to  student accommodations). Contact the Human Resources Office for appropriate information. 

Informal Grievance Procedure 

All concerned parties are first advised to resolve a grievance via the informal process. Use of this  informal grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies but is strongly  encouraged as the first course of action. 

  1. The concerned party (here forward titled ‘grievant’) is encouraged to discuss his/her concerns with the Director of Academic Resources & Accessibility Services (here forward tilted ‘ARC Director’). The ARC Director, in an effort to clarify and resolve issues, may:   
    • Discuss the situation with the grievant;
    • Discuss the situation with the alleged offender(s)(when appropriate); and/or
    • Mediate discussions between a grievant and any alleged offenders, when appropriate 
  2. The ARC Director will notify the grievant and involved parties of progress, findings, and/or resolutions. Due to the urgency of many issues, every attempt will be made to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
  3. If the ARC Director is unavailable, the Assistant Vice President of Academics for Student Success  will serve in the ARC Director’s role for both the informal and the formal grievance process. 
  4. Most situations are resolved through the ARC Director’s support and mediation. However, if this  avenue does not meet the needs of the parties involved, the grievant may choose to move to the Formal Grievance Procedure.

Formal Grievance Procedure  

Any grievant may file a formal complaint, which will be investigated and resolved in accordance with  the following procedure. 

STEP 1: Completing and Filing a Grievance Form 

The student may file a written formal grievance with the Assistant Vice President of Academics for  Student Success within 14 business days after the informal grievance procedure has been exhausted. In  this grievance, the following information should be included: 

  1. The nature of the grievance; 
  2. Date(s) of alleged incident(s) or disagreement(s) or relevant decision(s); 
  3. Information about attempts to resolve the grievance (if any); 
  4. Identification and contact information of witnesses who have knowledge of the alleged discrimination; 
  5. For a student grievant, a signed “Consent for Release of Confidential Information” for any  information or documentation in the student’s file. Consent forms may be obtained in the Academic Resource center; and 
  6. Signature of the grievant at the end of the document stating that everything provided in the written statement is true to the best of his/her knowledge. 

All grievances must be filed no later than 30 calendar days from the date of the alleged violation.

STEP 2: Committee Deliberation 

The Assistant Vice President of Academics for Student Success will make every effort to convene the  grievance committee within 7 business days of receiving the complaint and will render an immediate  decision unless further research is needed. The final decision shall be rendered no more than 4 business  days following receipt of the appeal. 

STEP 3: Investigation 

The Committee will meet in sessions closed to the public. These sessions may consist of one or more  meetings with the grievant and the alleged offender to hear their positions respectively, interview  witnesses related to the grievance, and gather other related information. If at all possible, the first  meeting will be scheduled within 7 business days after the Committee Chair receives the grievance.  For situations that warrant it, the Committee may consult with a credentialed professional with expertise  pertinent to the situation and/or the University’s legal representative.  

During the investigation, the grievant and the alleged offender can submit materials he/she believes  pertinent to the investigation of the grievance to the Committee Chair. The Committee Chair will present  to the Committee pertinent submitted materials, during which time the grievant and alleged offender may be contacted if the Committee seeks clarification or comment regarding the material.

Appeals 

A student may appeal in writing the decision of the Grievance Committee to the Provost of the  University within 7 business days of the decision only if he/she can demonstrate due process was not  followed.

Grievance Committee 

Committee members may include, but are not limited to:

  • The Committed Chair (Assistant Vice President of Academics for Student Success)
  • One Academic Affairs staff member appointed by the Director of Academic Resource Center &  Accessibility Services
  • Vice President of Student Life or his/her designee
  • Ad Hoc members shall be invited as needed to sit on the committee depending upon the  particular circumstances presented in the grievance letter 

Statement of Retaliation 

Any retaliation against a person involved in the grievance procedure is strictly prohibited and will be  considered a violation of the Concordia University Accessibility Policy. It is also a violation of this  Policy to make a false accusation or knowingly provide false information pertaining to a grievance. For  those who believe that they are a victim of retaliation, consult with either the Director of Academic  Resources & Accessibility Services or the Assistant Vice President of Academics for Student Success.

Statement of Confidentiality 

Concordia University will attempt to maintain confidentiality of the grievance and parties involved to  the extent permitted by law. Relevant information will be provided only to those persons who need to  know in order to achieve a timely resolution of the grievance. The institution will document the formal  grievance and its resolution, and maintain the documentation in the Provost’s office. 

Definitions 

Accommodations: Changes in practice, policy or procedure for a student with a documented disability which allows the student equal access and/or an equivalent procedure for gaining access to,  participation in, and benefits from the University’s programs, services, and activities. This also  includes alternate ways of acquiring and demonstrating knowledge and/or ability. Accommodations  are not to (1) fundamentally alter the nature of University’s programs, services, or activities, (2) cause  undue burden to the University, or (3) pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others. 

Business days: Do not include legal holidays, weekends, or periods when the University is closed  (e.g. December holiday break). If an individual believes a basis for a grievance has occurred during a  time when the grievance cannot be processed, the grievant must initiate the informal grievance process  within the next 10 business days.

Disability: With respect to an individual, is defined as: (1) a mental or physical impairment which  substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; (2) a record of such  impairment; or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment. 

For the purposes of this policy, the term "disability" is used with the understanding that it has the same  meaning as "handicap" in state and federal law. (See State Fair Employment Act [s. 111.32 (8)];  Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act and 45 CFR 85.3; Americans with Disabilities Act and 29  CFR 1630 and the ADA Amendments Act S 3406). 

Discrimination: For this process/procedure is any act that discriminates against students with disabilities including applicants to the University. This discrimination on the basis of a disability may  include (but is not limited to): 

  • Bias in policies and procedures for admittance to the University, 
  • Differential treatment in the classroom that is not an accommodation, 
  • The refusal to be granted an accommodation, 
  • Differential treatment when attempting to obtain or perform student employment (unless it is an accommodation).

Grievant (for disability related concerns) must be an individual who:

  • Believes he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of his/her disability;
  • Believes that she or he has been discriminated against based on being considered a person  with a disability (whether being a person with a disability or not); 
  • Believes that she or he has been discriminated against based on an association with a person  with a known disability (whether being a person with a disability or not); 
  • Wishes to appeal an accommodation decision; 
  • Wishes to file a complaint and/or grievance regarding the University’s compliance with ADA and/or ADAAA; or 
  • Is a faculty or staff member who does not agree with the accommodations 

Major life activities: Functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working (Referenced in EEOC and DOJ Titles II and III  regulations for the ADA). 

Qualified individual with a disability: An individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable  modification to rules, policies or practices can meet the essential components of the academic standards  of the University.  

Reasonable Accommodation: Implemented to grant equivalent opportunity for qualified students with disabilities to demonstrate their acquired knowledge and competence. They should not create unfair  advantage for the student(s) with disabilities, cause undue burden for the faculty or institution, nor alter the essential components of the course. 

NOTE: There are other University grievance processes for other types of discrimination. Employees  should see the Director of Human Resources; students should see the Dean of Students.