Food Allergy and Celiac College Student Survey submitted August 2020
Describe your food restrictions by checking all relevant boxes
Food Service Vendor (if known)
Grade your college on feeding students with your food restrictions
Explain your rationale for that grade
Allergens are labeled but there's cross-contamination so you never know if you can actually eat things labeled gluten-free. Also, the gluten-free options are not varied enough to be healthy long-term. There is a gluten-free corner with cookies, donuts, bread, and rice cakes, and one of the dining halls makes a guaranteed-gluten-free dish every meal but it's almost always the same.
What stage are you in college?
How many years ago were you diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease?
Less than 1
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 get pain-nausea-fatigue from small amounts of gluten and discomfort from trace amount (like cross-contamination in the kitchen).
If you indicated that you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, how sensitive are you to gluten?
Very: React to small amounts
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected they would when you selected your school?
Somewhat what I expected
Check all boxes that apply to your college experience
My school has only a few dining halls, Ability to feed me varies significantly across dining halls, I have at least one safe dining hall, but avoid some dining halls, I do not have sufficient options at any dining halls, I assumed they could feed me and didn't think about it before I arrived
Have you had a reaction from eating in your dining hall?
Describe each incident. How did your school respond?
Only one severe incident after I was diagnosed and it was completely my fault: I forgot that breaded fish would have gluten. I ended up with pain-nausea-fatigue. I did not bother mentioning it to the school because it wouldn't have happened if I'd been paying attention. There were many minor incidences with cross-contamination and I would often end up with more minor symptoms after eating in the dining halls.
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.
I had the large (default) meal plan my first semester. I downgraded to the small meal plan for the next three semester, the last of which I spent working to get exempt from the meal plan altogether because the dining halls could not guarantee a lack of cross-contamination.
Did you register your food restrictions with your students disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe.
Yes, in my fourth semester (when I was diagnosed) I got accommodations from the Accessibility Services of campus to not have a meal plan.
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? If yes, describe.
Yes, there is a nutritionist on staff who will work with students who have celiac/allergies/dietary restrictions. Also, the chef would be willing to work with you too.
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?
Do more to prevent/eliminate cross-contamination so people can eat without risk. Ensure enough variety in gluten-free foods to provide a balanced diet.
Describe your biggest challenge with managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
There were not many options for gluten free meals in the dining halls and a risk of cross-contamination. I would sometimes get food that claimed to be gluten free and still feel bad.
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for those with food restrictions? Why?
No. All students have to have a meal plan unless they get approval from accessibility services to opt out. Students living off campus get 5 meals/week, students on campus get 12, 14, or 16 plus on-campus spending money.
What's your advice for managing the dining halls with your food restrictions? Favorite dining hall(s)? Any dining halls to avoid?
Frary will get you something actually gluten free but they only ever have one option. Frank and Oldy don't do this so eat at your own risk. The veggy bar tends to be safe.
What's your advice for eating in the dorm with your food restrictions? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
Dorm building kitchens are not equipped with cooking supplies so I would recommend getting a hot pot and a pan.
What do you recommend new students with food restrictions do before school starts? Or when they first arrive?
Contact the nutritionist to ask their advice, maybe also accessibility services before school starts so that if you need to not be eating in the dining halls you can get accommodations for that quickly.
What's your advice on managing the party scene with your food restrictions?
Just don't eat or drink anything
Grade your college town area for feeding people with your food restrictions
Explain your grade. What are your favorite places to eat in town or foodshop?
There are options in the village and they are good but also a bit expensive. Some crust does gluten free cookies
Anything else you would like to add?
The on campus store doesn't have too many options but on the weekend there is a farmers market in the village were you can get lots of good produce and eggs. Also, you can eat in the other 5c dining halls and they will all be slightly different