Special Accommodations & Meal Plan Waiver

Special housing requests are subject to recommendation by the Special Accommodations Committee (SAC) based on medical documentation and availability of the accommodation. In order to be considered for a special accommodation you must complete the Special Housing Accommodation Request Form and submit it to Residential Life.

Students with special requests due to a medical condition are strongly encouraged to make the College aware of these needs as early as possible in the housing assignment process. Union College’s SAC will review all requests for special accommodation as outlined below.
Students should provide all required documentation by the following deadlines:


New Incoming Students for Fall - June 20
Returning Students for Fall - February 20
Summer Term - May 1


Please be aware that after these dates, certain types of accommodations may no longer be available for the coming trimester.

Documentation
The College requires medical documentation from a licensed physician that describes the student’s medical condition and supports the request for a special housing accommodation. This documentation will be reviewed by the SAC to determine if the request necessitates a special accommodation. The specific criteria and forms required can be found at:
http://www.union.edu/offices/accommodative-services/documents/.

Frequently Asked Policies
Below are descriptions of our most frequently asked policies. This is not an exclusive list of accommodation requests.

Single Rooms / Reduced Occupancy
Single rooms (private sleeping area with a shared suite) comprise less than 20% of Union’s residential space. A request for a single room or reduced occupancy must clearly demonstrate how sharing a sleeping area would adversely impact your ability to perform academically. The request should include an explanation of how typical roommate adjustments (such as using headphones, using a sleeping mask, or negotiating shared use of space) would not resolve the concern. Students who are recommended to reside in reduced occupancy rooms will not be assigned to designated triples. Once a student who needs a special accommodation vacates a room, that room will return to its original designated occupancy.

Meal Plans
In accordance with College policy all First Year residents are enrolled in the mandatory 15 meal plan for the entire Fall Term. Thereafter, all residents are required to select a minimum of a 7 Meals per Week plan. Students can be released from the meal plan only if they reside off campus. However, Dining Services is able to accommodate most diets and will work with the student to meet their dietary needs. Further information about Union’s dining policies and other contact information can be found at www.uniondining.com.

Air Conditioning
Only College Park Hall offers air conditioning based on climate control systems that maintain a temperature range. Additional air conditioning in these areas and in all other residence halls is prohibited. If a student has an extreme medical condition requiring them to live in an air conditioned environment, room air conditioners may be permitted with a medical exemption. To apply for an exemption, students must have a physician complete the Air Conditioner Request From found at http://www.union.edu/offices/accommodative-services/documents/. This form should be submitted to the SAC for review. A determination will be made by the SAC in consultation with appropriate medical staff and other college offices. If approved, Facilities will install a window unit during the heating season and remove it during the cooling season.

(Material Taken from Siena College)

Food Allergies/Meal Plan Accommodations

Food allergies may constitute a disability under the ADA, 42 U.S.C.~ 12102. Individuals with food allergies may have an autoimmune response to certain foods, the symptoms of which may include difficulty swallowing and breathing, asthma, and anaphylaxis. The College has set up a procedure to ensure that all requests are appropriately considered.

To request a dining accommodation, the student must begin by completing the Meal Plan/Dinning Accommodation Form describing their documented disability. The student must also supply current and appropriate medical documentation which has been completed by the appropriate medical professional. The medical professional cannot be related to the student applying. Students will often be required to meet with the Director of Dining Services to discuss their needs and learn of the options available to them. Dining Services is very understanding of the challenges with today’s diverse dining needs and has many options for students www.uniondining.com. The College also employs a Registered Dietitian and appointments can be scheduled.

Requests for dining accommodations are handled by the Special Needs Committee. The committee will notify students of it decision in writing. The decision will be based on the medical necessity of the accommodation. If the accommodation is not granted, students may appeal the decision to the ADA/504 Coordinator. Students may also reapply for the following trimester.

Procedure for Requesting Dining/Meal Plan Accommodations
Union College recognizes that some students have dietary needs related to medical and or psychological conditions. The following procedure was developed to ensure that all requests are appropriately considered. Requests for meal plan accommodations are handled by the Union College Accommodation Requests Committee. It should be noted that Dining Services already has in place many services for students needing special diets. Before taking the time to apply for accommodations, we encourage you to view the Union College Dining website:
www.uniondining.com

Steps for requesting an accommodation:
Students should begin by completing the appropriate FORM and by contacting:
Accommodative Services
Reamer Campus Center 303
Schenectady, NY 12308
518-388-8785
shinebas@union.edu

  • If appropriate and current medical documentation is not on file, then students may be asked to submit a letter from the treating/medical professional. The professional must be currently treating the student for the condition for which the accommodation is requested and cannot be related to the student requesting the accommodation. The letter should have the diagnosis, how it impacts the student’s ability to eat in the dining hall and what is recommended. The date of diagnosis, severity and types of medication needed should also be included in the letter.
  • The Meal Plan Request Form and medical letter must be returned to Accommodative Services in order for the committee to consider the request. The committee will try to meet within a week of the request although this cannot be guaranteed. Accommodations are not retroactive.
  • The committee will notify the student of the decision in writing. This decision will be based on the medical necessity of the accommodation. If an accommodation is not granted, students may appeal the decision to the ADA/504 Coordinator. Students may also be able to reapply for the following trimester.