Dear Collegian Editor;
I read the two opinion articles in the Collegian on 2/21/17 and feel compelled to respond to the heavy peppering of inaccuracies in them. First, Emotional Support Animals can be any common domestic animal. Second, service animals are only dogs, and rarely miniature horses. Also, service animals must be trained to do something ACTIVE that is directly related to their person’s documented disability. They must also be trained to refrain from any behavior that is disturbing to the normal function of an environment. If their behavior interferes with the normal functioning of an environment, then their person may be legally asked to remove them.
To bring an animal onto campus and into class that is not actually necessary because of a significant disability that you actually have is damaging to people who do have significant disabilities, is illegal, and is EXTREMELY SELFISH and self-indulgent. This illegal behavior is reprehensible, uncivil, and pathetic. Finally, every person who has an authorized Emotional Support Animal in university housing has had to provide professional documentation to support their claim that they need one. Many students have been denied because they could not provide professional support. This is not a joke; it is a process put in place to support students with actual disabilities. People who take advantage are hurting others.
Accommodation and Advocacy Specialist, Resources for Disabled Students, Colorado State University