Dude note that has nothing to do with this post: I’m sitting at a Starbucks on the corner of 57th and 10th, watching the bevy of activity outside and just absolutely digging living in NYC.
So one of my Dudette’s is a sophomore at University of Delaware. After her health tanked Freshman year (read her story here), she gave up all dairy and gluten over the summer and the improvement in her health was startling (she does not have celiac). All good…right?
Then came Sophomore year and let’s just say the college isn’t making it easy. They do have a gluten-free section (yay!), but it’s not dairy free and tons of their gf items have dairy. She’s making it work, as she always does. But it’s a pain.
In this day and age, when food allergies and celiac disease rates are rising, why aren’t colleges doing more to keep their students safe? And please don’t tell me it’s a financial issue. I still can’t get over what colleges charge for tuition, keeping so many from getting a college education and pursuing their dreams. Ok Dude…get back on track.
Well here’s some good news (followed by atrociousness…I’ll get to that). Rider University will now offer a completely allergy-free station at their cafeteria “following a former student’s complaint that the university did not accommodate students with food allergies.” Here’s the article and here are some points from yours truly.
– First and foremost, this is awesome. Even though the Feds had to get involved, they said Rider was cooperative. May they be the first of many. College is stressful enough. Eating there shouldn’t be. Kudos to Rider.
– The article says “People with celiac often eat what’s called a “gluten free” diet.” Often? So many to educate still.
– “The university did not believe it was violating the ADA , which covers a number or disabilities, from mental and physical impairments that limit major life activities – including eating, but agreed to make significant changes to resolve the issue.” I’ll leave this up to the legal scholars here, but I’m ok with this. Feel free to prove me wrong.
– “The station serves food free of the eight major food allergens – peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, wheat and soy. The food provided is also gluten-free.” Again…very cool.
So all is good right?
Then I made the mistake of reading the comments. Brutal. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. After I’ve stuck my head out over the years (including the Super Bowl ad where we got 18,000 signatures on a petition), I’ve been harassed, called every name in the book and threatened. Yeah…good times. All for trying to help the community. Funny world we live in. Except it’s not.
The comments were full of “it doesn’t affect me so f**k you” kind of thing and that “we’re what’s wrong with America”. Let me tell you, there are tons of things wrong with America; us trying to keep safe is not one of them. Here’s a little sampling for your entertainment:
- “Nothing more…disgraceful…bet they ain’t allergic to beer and pot….wasted tuition…hope u find jobs!”
- “I don’t think colleges do enough to make sure everyone gets vaccinated. So until then, I am bringing peanut butter to school every day!”
- “Poor handicapped student could make own lunch if unable to feed on common meals. What next? Sterile tubes?”
- “This person if they truly have celiac disease they need to take responsibility for themselves and their own health not demand the school and everyone else too.”
- “Now the colleges and universities are bowing down to the 5% with food allergies. Good. They’re getting what they asked for. Liberalism.”
- “Close the cafeteria and tell these MEN and WOMEN to eat wherever and whatever they like OFF CAMPUS.”
Yeah…we’re what’s wrong with America.
So to the celiac community, let’s take the victory and keep moving forward. To those who left the comments above, I just have one thing to say to you (not remotely PG rated):