No matter how long you have been living gluten-free, you’re likely to be anxious about going off to college. Fear not! Beyond Celiac has the resources you need to gear up for the school year ahead. With the right resources, tools and advice, you can attend university anywhere you want.
In December 2012, a lawsuit filed against Lesley University set a precedent for college students living with celiac disease. Essentially, gluten-free students were being denied accommodations for their medical diets and were unable to opt-out of the mandatory meal plan. The case was sent to the US Department of Justice, who ruled that Lesley University must make reasonable accommodations for students.
While this case did not establish a law that all colleges and universities must adhere to, it provides guidelines for other schools to follow. According to the settlement, Lesley University agreed to, among other things:
These agreements can serve as suggestions when you speak to a food service director or other authority on your campus.
A great place to start is your school’s food service director. They are your best link to the gluten-free options currently available on campus and which options could be made available. By meeting, you’ll also get a sense of how well the dining services team understands gluten-free needs. If you’re still touring schools, try to speak with the foodservice director at each one.
Some questions to consider asking your foodservice director include:
Once you’re in the dining hall, tell the staff that you have a medical condition that requires you to eat gluten-free food, so they’ll take your concerns seriously. Ask these questions before you eat:
Preparing for college can be stressful enough without a gluten-free diet thrown in the mix. To make it easier on you, Beyond Celiac has compiled resources for new and current students, both newly diagnosed and gluten-free diet pros, so students have a one-stop-shop to make the transition easier. (Parents, this information will be helpful for you, too!)
Here’s some of what’s inside this essential booklet:
Simply fill out the form below for instant access to the Gluten-Free in College Student Toolkit:
In this section you’ll find additional resources that didn’t fit in the College Student Toolkit, including things like recipes, conversation guides, and additional statistics.