Housing and Board Policy
Kalamazoo College affirms the educational benefits inherent in the residential undergraduate experience. Residential living is supportive of one’s academic preparation and plays an integral role in one’s experiential education, providing rich opportunities for involvement and development. Therefore, Kalamazoo College requires all students to reside within the College’s residential system and board at the College’s dining center through their sophomore year. The full residential policy can be found here.
Kalamazoo College’s Section 504 Coordinator and the Office of Disability Services will work with students who have special needs when completing housing assignments. The College will provide accessible housing to students with disabilities. Contact the College’s Section 504 Coordinator or the Office of Disability Services at 269.337.7209.
Process for Accommodations
- Contact the Associate Dean of Students, who coordinates student accommodations
- Request to be registered, with the Associate Dean, as a person with a disability.
- Provide appropriate evidence of disability.
- Requests will be reviewed by the Associate Dean and Residential Life and discussed with the student to determine appropriate accommodations.
Deadlines for Accommodations to Housing Policies
For fall housing for continuing students: April 1
For fall housing for first years and transfer students: June 1
In order to provide housing accommodations, the request for an accommodation needs to be made in a timely fashion, and the student with the request has the responsibility to do so. All deadlines reflect the housing assignment process for students seeking accommodations and are identified with the aim of facilitating access to housing accommodations; thus, in the absence of extenuating circumstances, students must request their accommodations in accordance with these deadlines before rooms are assigned to the general student body. After the posted deadlines, options available for accommodations may be severely limited.
Medical and Psychological Consideration
Priority will be given to individuals who are eligible to receive accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or the Fair Housing Act. These laws require that individuals must document the impact of their disability on major life activities.
All disabilities and medical history pertaining to the disability must be documented by a licensed medical provider with competence and expertise in the area of diagnosis. This documentation should be submitted with professional letterhead and the qualifications of the examiner provided (please see criteria of qualifications below). A decision on housing accommodations cannot be made without proper documentation. The Associate Dean of Students can provide support or can answer questions, but this information alone is not sufficient documentation to support an accommodation. The Kalamazoo College Disability Information and Verification Form [PDF 169KB] can be found on both the Disability Services and Residential Life websites. Documentation must be sent to the Associate Dean of Students in the Student Development Office.
Qualifications of Evaluator
Documentation for eligibility should be current, and must be within the last three years. Professionals conducting assessments, rendering diagnoses of a disability, and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. The name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about licensure or certification (e.g., licensed psychologist) as well as the area of specialization, employment and state/province in which the individual practices should be clearly stated in the documentation. For example, the following professionals would generally be considered qualified to evaluate specific learning disabilities provided that they have additional training and experience in the assessment of learning problems in adolescents and adults: clinical or educational psychologists, school psychologists, neuropsychologists, or learning disabilities specialists. Use of diagnostic terminology indicating the disability by someone whose training and experience are not in these fields is not acceptable. It is not considered appropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their families. All reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed and otherwise legible. Any documentation turned in that is illegible may impede a student from receiving accommodations.
Documenting a Disability
Since disabilities may change over time, given the nature of the condition, impact of medication, and other treatments, the documentation must be up to date; it is helpful when the documentation speaks to the current impact on the student and their living/learning environment. The documentation should include a description of the disability and any functional limitations, diagnostic information, a description of how the disability affects the student’s major life activities, and an explanation of any recommended or required academic or housing accommodations or auxiliary aids. Evaluators are encouraged to use the College’s Disability Information and Verification Form [PDF, 169KB]. Inadequate information, incomplete answers and/or illegible handwriting will delay the eligibility review process by necessitating follow up contact for clarification.
Please note the following:
- Providing the college with medical or support information does not guarantee accommodations.
- Placements will be made on a case by case basis based on the information provided and a dialogue with the requesting student. The most suitable living accommodations appropriate will be made.
The following commonly received requests generally are not grounds for medical/psychological accommodations:
- I can’t study around other people.
- I’m a light sleeper and noise bothers me.
- I get stressed being around roommates.
Although requests for accommodations for these reasons are generally denied in the absence of a medically documented disability, Residential Life staff will assist you in making good choices in the housing process or will work with you after the housing process to help you make the room meet your needs. Accommodations that include roommates are also frequently denied. Your documentation must state clearly why a particular roommate may be a part of your housing accommodation request.
Requests for single rooms based on a student’s desire to have a “quiet, undisturbed place to study” will be considered only in unusual circumstances. By virtue of the shared facilities, resources, and number of people living under one roof in the residence halls, a single room does not provide for such quiet, distraction-free space to any appreciable degree beyond living in a standard double room. Students who need distraction-reduced study environments should speak with the Associate Dean of Students, who will assist students in identifying quiet study places.
Kalamazoo College follows the guidelines of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in granting housing accommodations for environmental allergens. Consistent with those guidelines, students with housing accommodations due to environmental allergens will be permitted to purchase and bring an allergen-proof fabric covers for bedding, a dehumidifier and/or HEPA filter air purifier, and/or an air conditioner.
The student must complete the application below. The student, or their parent/legal guardian if under the age of eighteen (18), must fill out and sign the Authorization to Release Health Care Information below. This signature provides permission to the health care provider to complete the Disability Information and Verification form [PDF, 169KB]. The provider must fill out the Verification form or submit a detailed letter answering each of the questions. Illegibly printing or writing could result in a delay of service.