Housing Accommodations

All students admitted to Bates College enjoy full access to its programs and services. We acknowledge that some students with disabilities will require individual accommodations, advice, and assistance in order to succeed at Bates, particularly with regards to their housing on campus.

We define disability in accordance with the two most pertinent federal laws, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The definition specifies that a disabled person is one who is physically or mentally impaired to the point that one or more major life activities is substantially limited, has a record of having such an impairment, or is considered one who can perform the essential functions in spite of the handicap.

If you have a disability that you believe may require an accommodation from the Housing and Residence Life Office, please contact Dean Erin Foster Zsiga at 207-786-6215 or housing@bates.edu.

Service and Assistance/Emotional Support Animals

Bates’ policy allows students with documented disabilities to have service or assistance/emotional support animals reside with them in the residence hall when expressly authorized by the Housing & Residence Life Office.  The following procedures must be followed by students who wish to have a service or assistance/emotional support animal reside with them in Bates Housing.  Students should begin the process for approval of a service or assistance/emotional support animal with the Housing & Residence Life Office or the Health Center.

  1. Students with documented disabilities who wish to have a service or assistance/emotional support animal reside with them in Bates Housing must notify the Housing & Residence Life Office prior to the deadline established by the Housing office to request housing accommodations. Information on the deadline can be obtained by contacting the Housing & Residence Life Office website.
  2. The extent of documentation required for approval of the animal will depend on whether the animal is a service animal (a dog individually trained to perform a task for a person with a disability) or other assistance/emotional support animal (an animal that has been determined by a health care provider to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability). Students requesting a service animal must provide documentation verifying the presence of a disability to the Health Center by the deadline found of the Housing & Residence Life Office website. If the animal is not a service animal, the student will be required to provide current documentation to the Health Center of the student’s disability and why the animal is required as an accommodation based on the specific symptoms of the student’s condition. All students must complete either the Service Animal Protocol Form or the Assistance/Emotional Support Animal Protocol Form from the Health Center. The documentation must be less than one year old and submitted to the Health Center by the deadlines established for requesting a housing accommodation.
  3. Service animals are limited to dogs, and, in limited cases, miniature horses. Assistance/emotional support animals may include animals other than dogs. Bates Housing staff has the right to exclude an assistance/emotional support animal that is prohibited by the Health Department, or otherwise appears to be a threat to the health or safety of other students.
  4. Prior to receiving approval to have a service animal or assistance/emotional support animal in student housing, the student must register the animal with the Housing & Residence Life Office. The student must show proof that the animal meets all vaccination requirements as mandated by the City of Lewiston, that the animal is licensed if required by Maine state law (generally required only for dogs), and provide documentation from a licensed veterinarian that the animal is in good health. The student must also provide contact information for an alternative caregiver for the animal in case of an emergency. If the animal needs to be replaced, the student is responsible for registering and providing the above info for the new animal.
  5. After the Housing & Residence Life Office has approved an accommodation for a service or assistance/emotional support animal, Bates Housing staff will notify the potential roommates and/or suitemates of the student with a disability of the animal’s presence. In making such notification, Bates staff will not disclose information related to the student’s disability, other than the need to have the animal in the living space. The purpose of such disclosure is to confirm that the student’s roommates and/or suitemates do not have a conflicting condition that may prevent them from living with an animal. In the event that a roommate or suitemate is unable to live with an animal, Housing staff will work to provide a suitable living arrangement for each student. Students should not bring an animal to campus until they have expressly received approval.
  6. Bates Housing staff may limit where the animal may go within the building, based on the type of animal and the needs of the student with a disability. In most cases, service animals will generally be able to accompany the student to any area of the building that the student has access to, such as common lounge spaces and laundry facilities. Assistance/emotional support animals will generally be restricted to the student’s individual room or suite.
  7. A service or assistance/emotional support animal in Bates housing must be under control of its handler. The animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless using a tether is not feasible due to the student’s disability or due to the work that the animal performs for the student. In those cases, the student is expected to maintain control of the animal via an alternative method, such as voice control or signals.
  8. If a student leaves campus overnight, the student must bring the service or assistance/emotional support animal with them. Animals should not be left in the care of a roommate or other student for an extended period of time.
  9. The student is financially responsible for any damage cause by the animal to Bates Housing, including, but not limited to, damage to carpets, furniture, or walls.
  10. The student is responsible for ensuring that their animal does not cause an unreasonable disturbance that adversely affects other residents.
  11. In the event the animal harms another person, the student is liable for any damages, waives any claims against Bates and agrees to indemnify Bates and its employees, officers, and agents, in any claim or suit arising from the harm caused by the animal.
  12. The student is responsible for ensuring that the animal remains in good health while residing in Bates housing, and for ensuring that the animal is properly groomed.
  13. The student is responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the animal’s waste. After a student receives approval to bring a service or assistance/emotional support animal into Bates housing, the Housing staff will tell the student where the designated relief areas for the animal are located, if applicable.
  14. Students who believe their service or assistance/emotional support animal has been improperly excluded may contact the Office of Equity and Diversity at 207-786-6031.