JULIE KENYON, Copy Editor—A tell-tale sign that someone has a gluten intolerance–or is just following Kourtney Kardashian’s latest fad of going “gluten free”–is if they are walking out of Slayter with a two-by-two inch slab of toddler bread and a side of veggies instead of curly fries. This meal, I might add, is also on a “good Slayter day.”
The life of a gluten-free victim at Denison University is, to put it kindly, bleak.
We gluten free-ers roam Huffman and Curtis carefully analyzing the food displayed under the “gluten free” signs like C.I.A. operatives treading lightly before putting the ever-explosive wheat, barley or rye into our sensitive, and always aching, tummies.
If a gluten free-er does take the ever-so-dangerous risk of consuming the “gluten-free and vegan friendly” flat bread at Huffman, he or she is in for a not-so-pleasant surprise in the following hours after lunch ruining what was looking like a beautifully cloudy day on the Hill.
Oh what a life! You might be thinking “Why don’t gluten free people just ask for an alternative or go to the salad bar?” and to that, I take offense.
Just how many times can one suffer with the task of rummaging through the partially slimy spinach only to find three acceptable pieces? Is it really a meal if it consists of a few cucumbers and cherry tomatoes?
Now I ask the university: when exactly will there be a change?
Will students ever truly be able to trust that the food displayed under the gluten-free sign is actually in compliance with gluten free standards?
Many universities have already taken extensive measures to do so, and it is time to keep up.
Almost eight years ago Lesley University in Massachusetts made a major, and critical, change to ensure its students with food allergies were accounted for by signing an agreement with the Justice Department.
This came after dealing with multiple complaints and lawsuits.
The university now strives to uphold standards in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The agreement entails policies that promise to reach out to students and develop individualized plans, to continuously provide hot and cold gluten-free options that are readily available at every dining hall, and to train University staff to be understanding, cautious, and willing to work with students with food allergies.
Denison claims to uphold these same standards for our community; however, based off of my own personal experience, these promises are most often as empty as my plate.
Although Slayter, Curtis and Huffman are moving in the right direction to help accommodate students with dietary restrictions and intolerances by being open to individualized meal plans, additional pushes and shoves are certainly necessary to ensure our home on the Hill is keeping up with its promised standards–even if it takes a little extra effort from the student body and dining staff.
Julie Kenyon ‘23 is a global commerce and international studies major from Arlington, VA.