Celiac College Student Survey completed January 2019
Food Service Vendor?
What stage are you in college?
Please describe your meal plan for each year there so far.
I have unlimited swipes to my dining hall and then $50 dining dollars at some of our other food swipes per semester. I don’t have enough dining dollars. But I can change my plan for next year to have less meals and more dining dollars. At my dining hall there is a section in the back of kitchen for gluten free food only.
How many years ago were you diagnosed with celiac?
How sensitive to gluten are you?
Extremely: React to even small traces
How would you describe the worst reaction you have had since diagnosis?
Does your college handle celiac food restrictions as you expected they would when you selected your school?
Somewhat what I expected
Grade your college on feeding celiac students
Explain your rationale for that grade
They have a whole section for gluten free food in the kitchen. They understand cross contamination. I just wish they had more food options.
Check all that apply
My school is small and has only a few dining halls, Ability to feed me is pretty consistent across dining halls, I feel comfortable eating at any dining hall on campus, I can find some but not enough food in any of the dining halls, Ability to eat well was a critical part of my college selection process
Did you register with your students disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe.
Yes I did. I spoke with dining hall services before coming to campus and they expressed to me about their options.
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? Describe
I can speak to chefs and nutritionists. Although, at Gettysburg College they have a section in the kitchen with about 6 different food options that are all gluten free with no possibility of cross contamination.
How many times have you been glutenized in your dining hall? If you didn't answer NONE, please explain what happened and how school responded.
Describe your biggest celiac challenge at college and how you manage it
For me, I have very limited options for food. I go to bed hungry at times. It is a struggle to see other students eat whatever they desires, from their famous cookies to various breads and pasta dishes. I still haven’t quite figured out how to manage it. If anything I have just gotten used to it. I have a lot of snacks in my dorm.
If you were in charge of dining, what changes would you implement to better feed celiac students? Would your school be open to these suggestions?
I would make sure there are more options in the dining hall. Online and on a screen as you walk in, the menu is written out with all the options for everyone that day. On the menu it makes what foods are vegetarian, vegan, and what contains pork. Although, it never notes what is gluten free! I would make sure to note if anything is gluten free and add more dessert and savory options.
Did celiac impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for celiacs? Why?
I had to live in a typical hall with one roomate. That is all I could get for freshman, other than a possible single. Within my dorm I have my own micro fridge that was given to me. Although, for next year I am trying to make sure I can get an apartment with a kitchen. Being able to cook for myself will be so helpful.
Your advice to new celiac kids for managing the dining halls? Favorite dining hall(s)?
I would make sure you know what options you have prior to attending any school. Eating is a critical part of every day and your success as a student. Speak to chefs, to dining services, and to nutritionists. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is their job.
Your advice to new celiac kids for eating in the dorm? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
Make sure you have snacks! I love having gluten free pretzels and chips in the dorm. I do have some beef jerky, Annie’s GF mac and cheese, gf granola. Look in town to see if anywhere delivers. Dominos GF pizza is always an option!
Your advice to new celiac kids on preparing before they come? Or doing upon first arrival?
Be prepared for change. It is not like home where you are used to knowing the resturants that are good with GF, or like home where cross contamination might be understood. You have to search around to find answers. Soon it will get more comfortable because you will know where you can eat safely. Be prepared for students eating a lot of foods you cant. You have to have snacks with you just in case you get hungry!
Your advice to new celiac kids on managing keg parties and alcohol scene?
It is so hard. You can’t have beer and hard liquor is not always available. I would try to bring stuff from home to keep in your room. Bring your own alcohol out to be safe.
Grade your college town area for celiac friendliness
Favorite places to eat in town or foodshop?
Pings chinese food or Appalachian Brewing Company
Anything else you would like to add?
Living with Celiac Disease is far from easy. It adds a whole other layer of adjustment when it comes to college. More people need to be aware of the struggles. My parents and I have had to call the school many times to express concerns. They have added a panini press just from gluten free people in the back and have added individual nutella packs to avoid cross contamination. It is not easy. It is so important to self advocate!