Celiac College Student survey submitted, July 2019
Food Service Vendor
Plainfield, Vermont Campus Dining Hall
What stage are you in college?
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.
Meal plans are mandatory for students. For the two semester I have gone to the school I have eaten in the dining hall while on campus for residency.
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?
Not at all what I expected
Grade your college on feeding celiac students
Explain your rationale for that grade
I have found it extremely difficult to get the accommodations I need for my Celiac Disease from Goddard College. The Plainfield campus has only one dining hall that is not prepared to handle severe food related illnesses. After explaining the important of having gluten free utensils and surfaces in the kitchen, I watched someone put wheat cookies on the supposedly gluten free table. I had to explain my condition to multiple people in the dining hall for every single meal of every day. When I ended up getting glutened on campus they did not have a nurse to help me and the disabilities office could not be reached. No one followed up with me.
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 can't find any good options in the dining halls at all, Ability to eat well was a critical part of my college selection process, I asked alot of questions before I came but the reality was different
Did you register with your students disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe.
Yes, it made very little difference in my accommodations. When I had a medical emergency on campus the disabilities office could not be reached for over 24 hours.
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? Describe
No. Supposedly the disabilities office is in charge of this but they were not helpful or even available. During my last residency the chef left campus half way through. The school has no nutritionists or support groups.
How many times have you been glutenized in your dining hall?
More than 3
If you didn't select NONE, what happened and how did school respond?
I had been glutened multiple times during my last residency I became so ill I could not get out of bed in my dorm. I tried to reach out to the disability office and student life who did not answer for over 24 hours. It wasn't until my parents emailed the president of the school that student life noticed I had a problem. Still they were not at all equipped to help me in a medical situation.
Describe your biggest celiac challenge at college and how you manage it
It has felt like the biggest burden to constantly have to advocate for myself. It seems like every single day on campus I have to explain my conditions to 5 more people. It takes a lot of patience and don't be ashamed to shut down if you need to. If advocating gets to be too much, have some quiet time in your dorm before trying to confront someone else.
If you were in charge of your school's dining, what changes would you implement to better feed celiac students? Would your school be open to these suggestions?
The school needs to have a staff member present at every single meal who oversees all meals for celiac students. is also important that the school strictly adheres to necessary food handling procedures for the health of their students. This includes having dedicated gluten free areas in the kitchen that are to be observed at all times, gluten free utensils, cooking surfaces, and an educated staff. I have communicated these things to the school and they have yet to make these changes.
Did celiac impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for celiacs? Why?
It is better to stay in Kilpatrick because it is on campus and not in dorm village, so if you have an issue you wouldn't have to walk down the dirt path to get to the main buildings. That being said Kilpatrick is loud at night.
Your advice to new celiac kids for managing the dining halls? Favorite dining hall(s)?
There is only one dining hall, I do not at all trust the staff to handle Celiac. It is best to avoid the situation all together and eat your own food.
Your advice to new celiac kids for eating in the dorm? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
It is best to go to the local co-op to stock up on snacks for your dorm.
Your advice to new celiac kids on preparing before they come? Or doing upon first arrival?
Ask for a fridge and a microwave and travel with your own food.
Your advice to new celiac kids on managing keg parties and alcohol scene?
Don't drink underage. Bring your own.
Grade your college town area for celiac friendliness
Favorite places to eat in town or foodshop?
The only place to get food locally is the co-op. There are no restaurants.
Anything else you would like to add?
I am extremely disappointed with Goddard's inability to accommodate students with Celiac...I even know a few Celiac students who had to drop out of the school because they could not provide them with safe food. I only hope Goddard can create a safe environment for Celiac students so no more students go through what I have been through.