Campus Life

Housing Accommodations Policy

Mars Hill University will consider reasonable housing accommodations for students with disabilities. If a student requires a particular type of housing as a result of a condition that impacts a major life function, the student is asked to complete the Disability Services Request for Housing Accommodations Form as well as to provide supporting documentation/verification from a physician or professional health care provider who is familiar with the disability according to the description of documentation requirements contained within the form. Both the Disability Services Request for Housing Accommodations Form and the professional documentation/verification should be submitted directly to the Disability Services Coordinator. The DS Coordinator will review the request along with supporting professional documentation in consultation with the Director of Residential Life and/or Disability Services Committee to determine eligibility for reasonable housing accommodations.

The DS Coordinator will inform the student within 10 business days following the receipt of the completed request of any decision or further recommended action regarding housing accommodations. Financial consideration may be granted to students whose documentation clearly establishes that a medical condition necessitates specific housing requirements in order for the student to access university programs and services. However, requests for disability housing accommodations must be approved in advance of the semester for financial consideration to be applied.

New Students: Requests for housing accommodations along with supporting health care provider documentation should be submitted as early as possible and preferably by June 1 for Fall Semester and November 1 for Spring Semester. While all completed requests will be evaluated in a timely manner to determine eligibility and feasibility, students need to be aware that requests submitted within 60 days of the need for occupancy may not be guaranteed.

Returning Students: Students who have been granted previous disability housing accommodations and who wish to renew their housing accommodations will be asked to complete a Housing Accommodation Renewal Form prior to the Housing Selection/Room Preference Process that occurs during Spring Semester. In some cases, students may be asked to submit current professional verification in order to renew reasonable housing accommodations. Students who are unable to register for housing due to an outstanding financial balance cannot be guaranteed priority room preference. Accommodated housing space will be determined at the time that the student becomes eligible to register.

If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in University housing, students should contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as practically possible. MHU cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester or term in which the request is received, but will strive to accommodate verified requests as much as possible.

Request for Modification of Residence Requirements & Meal Plan Policy

Students who wish to request a modification of the MHU Residence & Meal Plan Requirement Policy due to a disability must submit their request in writing to the Disability Services Coordinator via the Disability Services Request for Housing Accommodations Form as well as provide supporting documentation from a health care provider. Requests will be reviewed in consultation with the Director of Residential Life and/or Disability Services Staff Committee.

If a student with a food allergy or other health condition needs to modify the University’s food services as an accommodation, the student must provide professional healthcare provider documentation to verify the condition and identify specific dietary needs. Once the Disability Services Coordinator establishes that the provided professional verification is sufficient for consideration, the student will be asked to meet with the Director of Food Services and the Disability Services Coordinator to determine how or if the student’s dietary needs can be met.

Only if the Disability Services Coordinator and the Disability Services Committee agree that Food Services and/or Residence Life cannot meet the student’s disability related needs will a waiver of the MHU Residence and/or the Meal Plan Requirement be granted.

Service and Assistance Animal Policy

Mars Hill University recognizes that there are some circumstances where a student with a qualifying disability may request and be approved for a Service or an Assistance Animal to achieve access to programs, activities, and services including University Housing. University Housing impacts a number of students with a variety of needs who must share common spaces without separate exits and entrances. Therefore, students who wish to request a service dog or assistance animal as an accommodation to live in university housing must complete the application process and receive prior approval through the Office of Disability Services at least 60 days in advance before the need for occupancy. While all completed requests will be evaluated in a timely manner to determine eligibility and feasibility, students need to be aware that requests submitted within 60 days of the need for occupancy may not be guaranteed since the needs of all residents must be considered.

Student eligibility is approved through the Office of Disability Services; animals must be approved through Office of Residence Life before occupying university housing.

Animals that do not have prior approval to occupy university housing are considered to be pets. MHU Residence Life Policy states, "Because of health reasons, such as sanitation, allergy concerns, and consideration for others, pets are not allowed in the residence halls, including a pet that is with friends or family members. Fish in a tank no larger than 10 gallons are the single exception to this policy."

Any student who brings an animal into the residence hall prior to receiving official approval through both the Office of Disability Services and the Office of Residence Life will be in violation of Residence Life Policy. The Office of Residence Life has the authority to contact Madison County Animal Control to immediately remove any animal that is in violation of the pet policy.

For additional information regarding Service and Assistance Animal Policy and the application process for requesting approval for a Service or Assistance Animal to live in university housing, please contact the Disability Services Coordinator at kkoontz@mhu.edu or disabilityinfo@mhu.edu.