Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Guidelines for Students

Student requests for the use of an emotional support animal (ESA) on campus must be made through the Office of Student Affairs by completing the form which can be found here.

Submission will be reviewed by the Director of Student Care and Support. 

Questions should be addressed to disability@cooper.edu

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Owners' Responsibilities

  • Keeping the ESA under their direct control at all times, such as by a harness, leash, or another tether; however, if the use of a harness, leash, or other tether interferes with the animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, or if the owner's disability prevents the use of such devices, then the ESA must be under the owner's control through voice control, signals, or other effective means;
  • Ensuring the ESA does not disturb or disrupt normal academic or administrative functions;
  • Taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the ESA does relieve itself inside of Cooper Union’s facilities;
  • Immediately cleaning up after the ESA and properly disposing of the ESA’s waste or other debris;
  • Complying with any relevant city, county, and/or state license and leash laws while the ESA is on Cooper Union premises.
  • The owner is responsible for damage or injury caused by the ESA.

Removal of Emotional Support Animals from Cooper Union Facilities

  • Cooper Union personnel may ask ESA owners to remove their ESA from Cooper Union premises or from the immediate area as follows:
  • If the ESA is not under the owner's direct control or the ESA is disturbing or disrupting the normal administrative, academic, or programmatic routine, then the owner must first be given an opportunity to get the animal under control. If the disruption or disturbance continues, then the owner may be asked to remove the animal; or
  • If the presence, behavior, or actions of the ESA constitutes an immediate risk or danger to people or property, the owner can be asked to immediately remove the animal and 911 (emergency assistance) may be contacted.
  • If asked to remove the ESA, the owner must be offered the opportunity to return to the premises or the immediate area without the ESA and be provided with reasonable assistance at that time to participate in the service or program.
  • An ESA may be excluded for an individual event based on its or the owner's behavior at that event. The ESA or its owner cannot be excluded from future events based on a problem at a past event, except as noted below.

Violations of Policy

Depending on the seriousness of the animal's conduct or repeated conduct, ESA’s may be excluded from Cooper Union property temporarily or permanently. The Director of Student Care and Support is responsible for conducting the necessary assessments regarding ongoing or permanent removal of an ESA. If an ESA is excluded, the Director of Student Care and Support will assist in evaluating reasonable accommodations for the owner.

Owners who violate this policy or disregard an instruction to remove or exclude an ESA from Cooper Union property may be subject to additional penalties, including banning from any Cooper Union property, or other fines or penalties under applicable city, county, or state rules, regulations, or laws.

Restrictions on Access for Emotional Support Animals

An emotional support animal may be restricted from specific areas when consistent with other Cooper Union policies, state, and/or federal laws/regulations. Examples of these areas may include:

  • Research facilities and grounds;
  • Technical workspaces including, not limited to shop spaces, high vent rooms, etc.; and,
  • Biologically sensitive or hazardous research sites.

If an ESA is restricted from certain areas, the Director of Student Care and Support can assist in evaluating reasonable accommodations for the owner.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.