Residential living serves as a pivotal and integral aspect of the overall experience for every Monmouth College student. The standard housing provisions in place effectively cater to the needs of the majority of our student body.
In cases where a student has a medical or psychological condition that necessitates a specific type of residence, the student is required to first submit a Disclosure for New Accommodations. To initiate the process for housing accommodations, students must adhere to the outlined procedure and provide comprehensive professional documentation validating the need for the requested accommodation.
It is essential to emphasize that the mere diagnosis of a medical or psychological condition, coupled with a recommendation from a physician or therapist, does not automatically qualify a student for disability-related housing accommodations. While healthcare providers’ recommendations are taken into consideration, Monmouth College evaluates housing accommodations based on the essential requirements for the student to access and thrive in college housing. It’s crucial to note that not all medical conditions reach the threshold of being classified as a disability warranting accommodation to access the housing program.
(Please be aware that prospective students must complete the necessary registration and deposit procedures through Admissions before becoming eligible to request and undergo evaluation for a disability-related housing accommodation.)
Distinction between Single Rooms for Disability Access and Single Rooms as a Preference
The college has a limited number of single rooms available, and students have the option to request a single room as a personal preference during the housing selection process held in the spring semester. Single-room assignments are made depending on availability. When not assigned as a disability accommodation, single rooms are charged an additional fee.
A frequently requested accommodation is the assignment of a single room. Such an assignment is considered a disability accommodation only when clinical history and professional documentation clearly indicate a history of significant limitations, providing a compelling rationale for the student’s need for a separate living/sleeping space to effectively access and utilize housing facilities. For instance, a student requiring extra space for specialized medical equipment may necessitate a specific room type or size of bathroom available only in a single room. In this context, the need for extra space is an access requirement, as without it, the student would be unable to participate equitably in the housing program.
Diagnoses, such as ADD, Generalized Anxiety, and Depression are commonly presented as reasons a student believes they need a single room. However, these diagnoses rarely present as true barriers to access. Here is some of the reasoning for when a single room may not be determined to be a necessary and reasonable disability accommodation required for access.
What if I require a quiet space for studying due to my diagnosis?
Residence halls and student housing are purposefully designed as living spaces, therefore, are not intended to serve as quiet study areas for individuals with disabilities affecting focus, concentration, or distractibility. Given the close proximity of residents, the assumption that having a private room would significantly provide a quiet and distraction-free space is not practical. The campus residential experience extends beyond sleeping spaces, offering various locations across campus where students can discover quiet and private areas for studying, relaxation, and solitude.
What if I need to be alone or require a single room for decompression?
Seeking a private space due to a diagnosis of anxiety or depression generally does not qualify as a disability that necessitates a single room to address access-related barriers. Students have access to numerous locations on campus and in the community to decompress, unwind, or process emotions outside of their sleeping quarters. Consider the following suggestions:
- Enjoy solitary walks around campus or explore LeSeur Nature Preserve near the baseball field.
- Find a secluded spot in the library or other academic buildings to nestle in and read or think.
- Collaborate with Residence Life staff to set up and host a roommate agreement meeting. They are proficient at working with roommate neutrally to assist with boundary setting and expectation management, fostering a healthy environment for each roommate.
- Utilize a white noise machine/phone app or earplugs/earphones to help block out extraneous sounds.
What if I need to have control over my space?
On a college campus, students share spaces with peers in various settings, including classrooms, campus dining, athletic, and performance facilities. Rarely does a student’s disability prevent them from managing shared living spaces. In the standard shared residence, students are allocated their own bed, dresser, closet, and study space. When it comes to matters like quiet hours, noise levels, visitors, cleaning responsibilities, etc., living with a roommate can assist students in learning essential skills such as communication, compromise, and respect for others’ boundaries. However, these may be new skills for students who have never shared a room with another family member. Community standards for behavior are outlined in the current Scots Guide, and housing staff (HRs and RAs) are available to assist students who need help negotiating concerns.
What if I wish to avoid dealing with a challenging roommate?
While many college alumni maintain lifelong friendships with former roommates, most individuals who have attended college can recall situations with less-than-ideal roommates. However, Residence Life staff has tools and procedures for addressing roommate concerns.
What if am concerned about the theft of my medications?
All students should consider securing valuables, including medications.
- Purchase a lockbox or small safe to keep medications tucked away and out of sight.
- Lock your dorm room door when you leave.
What can I do if my request for a single room as a disability accommodation is denied but I still want a single room, and not are available?
Students can request placement on a waitlist for a single room if all private spaces are occupied at the time of the request. Single rooms often become available after the semester begins. Once again, an additional fee applies to single rooms.
Procedures for Making a Housing Accommodation Request: Documentation Guidelines & Forms for Housing Accommodations
- Complete the Disclosure for New Accommodations.
- To best evaluate the severity of a condition and its impact, students should ask their healthcare provider with knowledge of their medical history and expertise in the treatment of the type of disability as indicated below to complete the Housing Accommodation Request Professional Documentation Form. The provider must be an impartial evaluator who is not a family member nor in a dual relationship with the student. This form must be submitted (emailed or faxed) to Student Accessibility & Disability Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-457-2213.
Temporary Housing Accommodations for Impairments
In the event of injuries, surgeries, extended illness, or sudden medical conditions, students may require temporary academic, housing, or facility-related accommodations. The Accessibility Services Office is committed to facilitating any required adjustments to student housing to address unforeseen accessibility needs. Students are required to follow the standard accommodation request process to secure the necessary accommodations.