Requests for Special Housing Accommodations
(Medical, Dietary, ESA):

Gustavus ensures equity for all students including equal access for students with disabilities. The staff in Residential Life fulfill this commitment to access in residential halls. The residence halls and apartments are for students mature enough to live independently on campus with limited staff supervision. 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:

  • While the priority deadlines for 2023-2024 have passed, requests will be reviewed on an ongoing basis once all paperwork has been received.
  • Forms for 2024-2025 will be posted here later this Fall with deadlines of the start of the Spring Semester for returning students, and Gustie Gear Up for new students.

For any/all types of accommodation requests, the first step is to submit the Request and Documentation paperwork to the Residential Life office. We can receive paperwork via whatever method works best for you/your provider - fax, email, postal mail, or drop-off at the Residential Life office. Health-care providers often prefer to send paperwork via fax - our fax number is posted on the paperwork and we will send the student a confirmation when it is received. 

2023-2024 Forms:

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.

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). 


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. 

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.

NOTE: If you have questions about the process, please contact the Residential Life office at or 507-933-7529.

Dietary Requests:

For dietary-related requests, additional consultation with the College's dietician will be required. Jen Donkin, RD, LD, CDE is the campus dietitian and can meet with students in the Health Service Office at no cost to the student. To schedule a visit with Jen, call the Health Service Office at 507-933-7630. 

Please review the Dining Service General Information and Ingredient and Food Allergen Statement for more information about Dining Service options and policies.

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. A window unit may be provided for those with severe/life threatening allergies, asthma, or other medical conditions that would require an air conditioner. Requests from physicians must be submitted following our usual accommodation timeline (with the forms linked above). Requests submitted after the deadline may not receive priority or may require a housing move to accommodate needs. 

Please review the Air Conditioner Policy prior to submitting for this accommodation request. There is a $75 fee charged to a student’s account for installation of the unit by Physical Plant staff. This also covers de-installation in the winter (if requested) or at the end of the academic year.

As with all accommodation requests, requests for air conditioners must be made on an annual basis with updated documentation.

ESA (Emotional Support Animal) Approval Process:

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. If you have a Service Animal, please contact the Director of Residential Life, Anthony Bettendorf, directly to coordinate - this is a separate process from an ESA request. 

Emotional support animals (ESAs) are not recognized by the ADA, and are prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional to provide therapeutic benefits to a person with a disability. 

We recommend that students submit their request and documentation requesting an accommodation by the priority deadline, and at least 45 days before moving into the residence halls. Emotional support animals are not permitted in the residence halls until official written approval has been giving by Residential Life. Accommodations for emotional support 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. 

ESA Approval Process

  • You will first need to submit a Request for Special Housing Accommodation form and a Documentation for Housing Accommodation Request form which includes information from your health care practitioner regarding the specific accommodation required.
  • Once approved for an accommodation, you will be emailed documentation to submit regarding their ESA including
    • ESA 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 ESA 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 ESA and provide expectations for engagement.