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Food Allergy and Celiac College Student Survey submitted January 2020
Describe your food restrictions by checking all relevant boxes
Egg Allergy, Fish Allergy, Peanut Allergy, Shellfish Allergy, Sesame Allergy, Soy Allergy, Tree Nut Allergy, Other (describe below)
Grade your college on feeding students with your food restrictions
Explain your rationale for that grade
Overall, my school was super accommodating, although there were a few roadblocks that I had to overcome at various points.
What stage are you in college?
Recent College Graduate
How many years ago were you diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease?
Please use this space to provide details that would help us better understand your food restrictions. Include your reaction if exposed to the foods you are avoiding. Please mention if you carry an epi-pen.
I have a large number of food allergies, and the severity of my reaction varies based on the allergen. I do carry an epi-pen at all times.
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected they would when you selected your school?
Totally yes, was what I expected
Check all boxes that apply to your college experience
My school has many dining halls, I have at least one safe dining hall, but avoid some dining halls, Ability to eat well was a critical part of my college selection process
Have you had a reaction from eating in your dining hall?
Describe each incident. How did your school respond?
I had one reaction during my sophomore year due to an unexpected allergen. I had several meetings with the dining department and chefs after this incident to determine how this had happened and to adjust my plan for eating safely in the dining halls from that point on.
Please describe your meal plan for each year there so far. Include if your school required any of these decisions. If you are eating in a greek house or other club type arrangement include that as well.
Freshman year I had 10 meals/week and 500 "BRBs." Sophomore year I was required to have a full meal plan based on my housing situation. At first, I was under-utilizing these, but worked out a plan so that it would be worth it. Junior and senior year, I lived off campus and was not on meal plan at all.
Did you register your food restrictions with your students disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe.
Yes, I had a meeting to register for accommodations, which put me in touch with dining department.
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? If yes, describe.
I met with the dining department nutritionist frequently throughout my time there which was absolutely critical. Because of my numerous allergies, she helped coordinate for meals to be made specifically for me in certain dining halls, and ensured that all of the chefs knew exactly what my allergies were and what they should be making me.
If you were in charge of your school's dining, what changes would you implement to better feed students with your food restrictions? Would your school be open to these suggestions?
I think my school was very receptive to any suggestions I had throughout my time there.
Describe your biggest challenge with managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
I think my biggest challenge was just the timing of everything - because I was having separate meals made, sometimes I would have to wait for my meals to be made or go to dinner at specific times without my friends. I was able to adjust this as time went on though.
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for those with food restrictions? Why?
What's your advice for managing the dining halls with your food restrictions? Favorite dining hall(s)? Any dining halls to avoid?
I ate mostly at Appel freshman year because it was smaller and more manageable. I think the most important thing was building relationships with the chefs so that we had open communication about what my needs were and what was safe for me.