top of page

GFF College Dining Survey Responses

Kenyon College



Survey Date:

Oct 26, 2023

Survey 1 of 1




Other, Gluten Intolerance

Student's Summary Assessment:

College Dining:


Surrounding Area:


Rationale for Grades Given

There were two dedicated allergy chefs in the dining hall who were amazing and very knowledgeable. However, they were not always around, and the rest of the dining hall staff were very hit-or-miss. Within only two months at school, I caught wheat pasta, breaded chicken, and a wheat tortilla being mislabeled as gluten-free (honestly, I am concerned there were more instances of mislabeling that I didn't catch!). I frequently experienced symptoms of gluten exposure. I have a friend with celiac who told me that she was also offered soy sauce (wheat containing) by one of the dining hall staff too,

There are very limited options for food in Gambier. The Village Market and the Bookstore have some gluten-free options but are very small stores. There are decent options in the nearby town of Mount Vernon but it takes about an hour round trip to get there and back on the shuttle that the college provides.

Details About this Student's Food Restrictions

How many years ago were you diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease?

Less than 1

If you indicated celiac or gluten intolerance, how sensitive are you to gluten?

Extremely: React to even small traces

Add details to help us better understand your food restrictions (e.g. sensitivity level, potential reaction, need for EPI pen)

I selected "other" because I am in the process of obtaining a diagnosis, so I do not know if I have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Before going gluten-free, I suffered from extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, IBS-like symptoms, headaches, steatorrhea, and a skin rash. When I am exposed to gluten, I've had all of these symptoms plus nausea. It takes me 2-5 days to feel better after being exposed to gluten via cross-contact (depending on the level of cross-contact with gluten).

Details About this Student's College Dining Experience

Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected when you decided to attend?

Somewhat what I expected

Have you had a reation from eating in your dining hall?


If Yes, describe each incident and how your school responded

There were so many times that I can't list them all. After telling the school, they basically told me to get my food from the back (where cross-contact would be minimized). I tried doing that and experienced fewer symptoms but noticed my symptoms started to resolve when I stopped eating the dining hall food. They labeled the foods as "gluten sensitive" (i.e. not made with gluten-free ingredients but can't guarantee it is gluten-free). I could be wrong but as far as I knew the allergy food was still made in an open kitchen so there could've been gluten contamination via airborne flour.

Did you register your food restriction with the disabilities office? If yes, describe

Yes, but I couldn't get official accommodations since I didn't have a diagnosis of celiac disease. If I had non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it would not have been taken seriously (they assumed NCGS meant a low level of sensitivity to gluten). On the meal plan, my health became so poor that I ultimately decided to take medical leave to see if I had celiac (and could then get an exemption from the meal plan).

Are there resources to help with nutritious, safe dining (e.g. dietician)? If yes, describe


If you were in charge of dining, what would you change? Would your school be open to suggestions?

I would have a large supply of pre-packaged certified gluten-free meals in order to eliminate the possibility of cross-contact. I would have had single-serve condiment packets available too.

Describe your biggest challenge managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it

My biggest challenge was staying in school when I constantly felt unwell. Ultimately, it was best for me to take medical leave from school.

Advice for Incoming Students:


Did your food restrictions impact your housing decisions?  Any dorm recommendations

Dining Halls:

Any advice for managing dining halls?  Favorite dining halls? Any to avoid?

Meal Plans:

Describe your meal plans over the year(s). What's mandatory? Any suggestions? 


Any advice for eating in the dorms? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver? 

Getting Started:

What should students do before school starts or when they first arrive?


Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?


Any other advice or comments?

I wish I could help with this but I only went to this college for 2 months so my knowledge is pretty limited! Good luck though!

Meal Plans:

bottom of page