Requests for Disability Housing Accommodations (Medical, Dietary, Assistance Animal):

Gustavus ensures equity for all students including equal access for students with disabilities. The staff in Residential Life fulfill this commitment to access in our residence halls. The residence halls and apartments are for students able to live independently on campus with limited staff supervision. Residential Life also takes any dietary accommodations and passes those along to Dining Services who work with students to meet their dietary needs. If a student with a disability is in need of a housing or dining accommodation, they should submit and complete this request, with any accompanying documentation on the following timeline:

  • March 29th, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. for Fall 2019-2020

There are limited housing spaces available for accommodations and priority will be given to individuals who are eligible to receive accommodations under Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, individuals must document the impact of their disability on major life activities. 

As the need for housing accommodations can arise at any point during the academic/calendar year, students should always feel free to submit a housing accommodation whenever they may require one. Please note that requests received after the priority date could take up to two weeks to process.

Note: 2019-2020 Accommodation forms will be available soon, check back here or email to be sent the updated forms as soon as they become available.


Documentation is needed to support the need for accommodation for disability. The Director of Residential Life in consultation with our Accommodation Committee will determine reasonable accommodations. Factors that the Director and Accommodation Committee will consider when evaluating requests for accommodations:

  • Is the impact of the condition life-threatening if the request is not met?
  • Is the request an integral part of the treatment plan prescribed by a medical professional for the condition in question?
  • Was the request made by the priority deadline? (Medical needs will not be turned down based on this deadline)
  • Is there space available to meet the student needs?

It may be helpful to note that due to the nature of living in a residence hall community, a request for a quiet hall is not a medical accommodation that can be met. Additionally, because a residence hall is shared by hundreds of students participating in various activities throughout the day, living in a single room does not necessarily provide a student with a quiet, distraction free environment. 

In order to determine if special housing is a reasonable accommodation, we must receive detailed documentation of the need for special housing. A completed Medical Documentation for Housing Form (completed by a medical professional) must be submitted to support your request. Please note that special requests must be submitted and approved annually. If you are new to Gustavus this fall, contact the Residential Life office at for more information.

All requests for accommodation in housing assignment will be reviewed by the Director of Residential Life and the housing accommodations committee (consisting of confidential professional staff representing Health Service, Accessibility Resources, and/or the Counseling Center). All accommodation requests must be renewed each year with an updated request and updated documentation.

This request process is also required for individual air conditioner units for the 2019-2020 academic year. Requests for consideration for an individual air conditioner unit due to severe/life threatening asthma or allergies requiring prescription medication must be made by March 28, 2019. Requests submitted after the deadline may not receive priority or may require a housing move to accommodate needs. 

NOTE: If you have questions about the process, please contact the Residential Life office immediately at x7529.

Dietary Requests:

For dietary-related requests, additional consultation with Dining Services and the college's Dietician may be required. Please fill out the Accommodation Request form, and submit that to Residential Life. Upon receipt of the form, Residential Life will consult with Dining Services and send a Dietary Accommodation form for you to fill out with medial documentation. These forms should be returned to the Residential Life Office, and you will be notified of decisions regarding your request. 

Air Conditioners:

Traditional residence halls at Gustavus are not air conditioned with the exception of Prairie View Hall and Carlson International Center. Apartments/suites in Arbor View, Chapel View, College View and Southwest Hall are air conditioned.

Students are not allowed to bring their own air conditioning units. We will provide window units for those with severe/life threatening allergies or asthma that require prescription medication. Requests from physicians must be submitted following our usual accommodation timeline through the Room Draw process for returning students. Late requests may not be immediately fulfilled.

Important information about medical requests for air conditioners. All requests for air conditioners must be made on an annual basis with updated documentation!

Assistance Animals and Approval Process:

Assistance Animals within Residential Life may be either service animals or emotional support animals. Service animals are recognized under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and are animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. Emotional support animals are not recognized by the ADA, and are prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional to provide therapeutic benefits to a person with a disability. Assistance animals are not pets.

We recommend that students submit their request and documentation requesting an accommodation including an assistance animal by the priority deadline, and at least 45 days before moving into the residence halls. Assistance animals are not permitted in the residence halls until official written approval has been giving by Residential Life. Accommodations for assistance animals will be for the course of an academic year and need to be renewed annually, or at any point where the accommodation request has changed or a new assignment has been given to the student. 

Approval Process

  • You will submit a Housing Accommodation request including a statement from your health care practitioner regarding the specific accommodation required.
  • Once approved for an accommodation due to a disability, you will be emailed documentation to submit regarding their Assistance Animal including
    • Assistance Animal Request Form
    • Veterinarian Verification Form
    • A photo of the animal
    • A copy of current vaccination records
  • After all documentation has been verified, you will meet with the Director of Residential Life to review and sign the Assistance Animal Guidelines and Expectations.
  • A date the animal is approved to move into the building will be determined at that meeting.
  • Residential Life will notify the residence hall community of the Assistance Animal and provide expectations for engagement.