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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Student government urges greater student accountability for emotional support animals

Student+Government+Association+%28SGA%29+Sens.+Victoria+Owens+and+NaKhiya+Sanders+applaud+after+the+approval+of+ESA+Regulations+and+Support.+The+resolution+expressed+SGAs+support+for+the+welfare+and+ethical+treatment+of+animals%2C+including+emotional+support+animals+%28ESA%29%2C+and+implemented+a+system+to+address+reoccurring+issues+with+ESAs.
Allison Campbell
Student Government Association (SGA) Sens. Victoria Owens and NaKhiya Sanders applaud after the approval of ESA Regulations and Support. The resolution expressed SGA’s support for the welfare and ethical treatment of animals, including emotional support animals (ESA), and implemented a system to address reoccurring issues with ESA’s.

The Student Government Association (SGA) passed a resolution to address issues related to emotional support animals. The resolution passed with 24 in favor, zero not in favor and 1 abstention. 

According to Adriana Owens, the accessibility subcommittee chairperson and the resolution’s author, there are 39 ESAs within on-campus housing. The resolution aims to ensure that ESAs are treated ethically while also reminding students of their responsibility for their animals. 

“Every single time I roomed (at WSU), I have lived with an ESA, and I have seen trends of non-responsible ownership for ESAs,” Owens said at the Student Senate meeting on Dec. 6.

Per their housing contract, if students with ESAs leave campus for 24 hours or more, they are required to take their animals with them or leave them in off-campus care.

The resolution calls for the implementation of a strike system with increasing consequences. If an ESA owner repeatedly violates the contract, they will have to attend training with their ESAs. Approved training classes listed include in-store training at PetSmart or an obedience class from Chisholm Creek Pet Resort.

The resolution also calls for Resident Assistants (RAs) to receive training in order to properly handle ESAs. According to Owens, there is no animal training for RAs. 

The resolution aims to support students as well as their ESAs. In the event that the student may not have all of the means necessary to care for their animals, SGA plans to collaborate with The Office of Student Accommodations and Testing, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the CARE Team.

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About the Contributors
Loren Amelunke, Reporter
Loren Amelunke is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. She is a sophomore at Wichita State, currently pursuing a psychology major. She loves to write poetry and hopes to publish a poetry book in the near future.
Allison Campbell, News Editor
Allison Campbell is one of the news editors for The Sunflower. Campbell is a junior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Campbell hopes to pursue a career in writing or editing after graduation. They use any pronouns.

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