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GFF College Dining Survey Responses

Union College


New York

Survey Date:

Jun 19, 2023

Survey 1 of 1


Recent Grad


Celiac Disease

Student's Summary Assessment:

College Dining:


Surrounding Area:


Rationale for Grades Given

There are many safe options and the dining staff is well trained!

There are so many great gluten free options in Schenectady, including Union student favorites like Zen, Simone’s Kitchen, Mexican Radio, Blaze, and Chipotle. 110 grill and Innovo Kitchen are also awesome, but a bit further away from campus.

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?

Not Very: Usually do not know if exposed

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

I have Celiac disease and am very careful because I don’t know if I have been glutened or not. Sometimes if I don’t feel well after a meal, I’m not sure if it is gluten or a regular stomach ache, so I’m very careful to avoid all gluten and cross contamination.

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

Yes, I was allowed to have my own mini fridge and microwave in my dorm room because I registered with the disability services.

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

There is a nutritionist or dietician in the wellness center and the dining services workers and director are very willing to talk with students to help them out as much as possible and to cater to their needs.

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

I would have dedicated gluten free friers on campus to increase the food options for gluten free students.

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

My biggest challenge is finding different options for food. There are good options that are safe, but not much variety. I always had food in my room and found some good staples and learned how to adapt to this.

Advice for Incoming Students:


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

Not really! Freshman year I lived in West, which was above the freshman dining hall so that was convenient but everyone eats there and it is easily accessible to all of the students on campus. I also chose to live in Garnet my senior year, but everyone has the opportunity for kitchen access from sophomore year (minerva living) through senior year (greek life housing has kitchens and so do the senior on campus options).

Dining Halls:

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

Skellar does not have gluten free options and there is cross contamination at the on campus pizza place, but every other dining option on campus has tons of gluten free options! I love Dutch Hollow, 807 Deli, and Upper specifically. The sushi is also amazing!

Meal Plans:

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

Freshman year there is a certain mandatory meal plan, but after that it’s up to you! It really depends on where you like to eat and meal plans can be easily changed throughout the year as well.


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

I love storing snacks in my dorm! The bookstore on campus sells many snacks and microwave meals which students can buy using declining, which comes with the meal plan. So many places can deliver food through uber eats or grub hub or door dash. Schenectady is full of tons of great take out places!

Getting Started:

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

Contact dining services and apply for disability services! This way they can work with you to meet your individual needs.


Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?

It’s super easy! As long as you openly communicate with friends, it is easy to find dinner places where you can eat. Lots of first years love Zen, which has gluten free hibachi! There are lots of local places to eat out with friends and the party culture is very gluten free friendly with seltzers and wine being common for date parties. There are beer kegs which are common at fraternity parties, but it will never be a problem to bring your own drink! The late night dining hall, Skellar is mostly fried food so it is not gluten free safe, but there are usually snack and candy options like chips or chocolate that are pre-packaged and gluten free! That way you can late night snack with your friends even if you can’t eat a full meal.


Any other advice or comments?

I loved my Union experience more than anything and would definitely recommend it for students with gluten sensitives, celiac disease, or any food sensitivity. The dining hall food is not amazing (it is very basic dining hall food) but it is safe and that was the most important to me on my college search! The staff is super supportive and the student community is full of students with various allergies and sensitivities.

Meal Plans:

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