Changes for Emotional Support Animals on Campus

Kallie Butts ’18 with her ESA Sugar
Photo provided by Kallie Butts ’18

Residential students that have Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) on campus are invited to meet with Dean of Students Mary Beth Williams and the Director of Resident’s Life Jared Hirtz in lunch time discussions about how to improve upon their current ESA policies and needs.

Dean Williams explained that she asked the students [with ESAs, service animals and pets] if they would be willing to meet and create a working group with her to help make sure that the college’s policies are meeting the needs of the students.

Dean Williams stated that the group meets “to talk about if  our policies are in line with other institutions. Is there something else we could be, should be doing to meet the needs of those [with service animals, ESAs, and pets]?”

So far the group has discussed if the campus should “have more pet free floors [per request] than we have in the past” as well as looking “to create a pet sitting policy, which we[the college] need, [and] an emergency policy regarding ESAs.”

Hirtz commented, “The ESA meetings have been brought about as an open discussion about possible updates and improvements for both ESA owners  on campus and for students who would enjoy pet-free areas.”

As for what is discussed during the meeting, Hirtz says, “The conversations have gone in many directions with both students and staff investigating what other schools are doing. The overall goal is to investigate what other schools are doing, what Wilson College can improve upon, and to hear the thoughts that ESA owners on campus have.”

Dean Williams stressed “if anyone has an issue with a current policy, or wishes we had a policy on an issue that they should let [her] know or let Hirtz know because that’s how we create policies, it’s based on need.”

For more information, contact Dean Williams at or Jared Hirtz at

Leave a Reply