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GFF College Dining Survey Responses

Michigan State University

East Lansing


Survey Date:

Mar 2, 2023

Survey 1 of 2




Gluten Intolerance, Wheat Allergy

Student's Summary Assessment:

College Dining:


Surrounding Area:


Rationale for Grades Given

There is a completely gluten-free/top allergen-free dining hall ('Thrive' at Owen Hall). This dining hall is completely free of gluten, dairy, nuts, and some of the other top allergens. This is great because it lets people with many different types of allergies have a safe place to eat. It's open Monday - Friday for lunch and dinner. The cost of the meal is the same as all of the other dining halls on campus, even though it's gluten-free. Thrive is closed on the weekend, but a few of the other dining halls have gluten-free options. For instance, Brody dining hall (open on the weekends) has gluten-free bread to make sandwiches, along with a separate toaster and microwave just for GF students. It also has gluten-free cookies and bagels.

Lots of gluten-free options at restaurants & many gluten-free products at local grocery stores.

Details About this Student's Food Restrictions

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


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

Very: React to small amounts

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

Extreme stomach aches and digestive issues.

Details About this Student's College Dining Experience

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

Totally yes, was what I expected

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


If Yes, describe each incident and how your school responded


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

No, I didn't. No need to since the dining hall is completely gluten-free. You're not even allowed to bring any outside food in (a good thing).

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

Yes, there is a campus dietician which I believe is free of charge. I have personally not used the dietician.

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

I would just open the Thrive dining hall on the weekend. I think they would listen, but probably keep it closed (cost issue).

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

The cost! Gluten-free products can be expensive. I deal with it by mostly eating at the dining hall since dining passes are relatively inexpensive.

Advice for Incoming Students:


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

Not applicable to me since I live off-campus. If you were a gluten-free student and want to live on-campus, try to live closer to Owen Hall if possible (there are many off-campus options that aren't too far from Owen).

Dining Halls:

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

The main dining hall that will be celiac-safe is Owen hall. Brody might work if you live closer, but I'd be a bit more worried about cross-contamination there.

Meal Plans:

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

I live off-campus, so I can buy meal plans in multiples of 10. That's what I've been doing my entire time here. If you're living on-campus (which most people are forced to do for the first two years), then you have to buy a slightly more-expensive meal plan. Don't upgrade to the fancy meal plan if you're on campus, just get the most basic one.


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

Have microwaveable foods for the dorms. You're generally not allowed to have any type of toaster oven from what I understand. Good GF places near campus: No Thai, Grand Traverse Pie Co., Meijer/Whole Foods for GF groceries, Hungry Howies (probably cross-contaminated), Gigi's Cupcakes, Cottage Inn, Jersey Mikes (Okemos). (Ask about cross-contamination at all of these restaurants just in case). Also, check out MiGlutenFreeGal's website for more restaurants.

Getting Started:

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

If your parents are driving you into town, make sure to stock up on Groceries at Meijer/Walmart. The only main grocery store in downtown East Lansing is Target. Also, make sure to buy some of the dining credits online ahead of time if you're living off-campus. If you're living on-campus, buy the dining plan for Owen.


Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?

Make sure to be careful about cross-contamination! Ask your waiter! There are plenty of gluten-friendly options around town. If you're going to a party, bring your own snack (if you're not celiac, try Insomnia Cookies for a late-night snack!)


Any other advice or comments?

Thanks for doing this survey! Let me know if you have any more questions & I'd be happy to help!

Meal Plans:

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