June 5, 2023

There are many students at California Baptist University who have special diets, often due to food allergies, and this has become increasingly common.

Ever wonder about those students who stand on the side of lines at the Alumni Dining Commons or Brisco’s Village Cafe, waiting, rather than standing in the lines?

Usually, those are the students with special diets, and they are waiting for food to be made for them. Over the past few years, CBU’s food service provider has worked hard to help those who need special dietary accommodations. The most common are gluten-free, vegetarian and lactose-free diets.

When asking students about their ease of access to foods with the proper accommodations on campus, the results were mixed. Some students had no idea what they could eat on campus, like Samara (Sam) J. Heller, a freshman nursing major who has gluten and lactose intolerances.

Then there were other students, like Jaclyn (J.J.) N. Hilts, a sophomore pre-nursing major with a gluten intolerance, who were mostly aware of their options.

It is apparent that students with special diets need to be reached out to so that they are aware of their options and can enjoy their meals without feeling isolated for having to eat differently.

Heller said that if there were awayforhertobeawareofher options, it would help her out because eating is a huge social outlet. Kipp L. Dougherty, director of Food Services, said he does not want any student to have to miss out on that aspect of the college experience, which is why she makes sure that every student is able to eat good and nutritious food, even when it involves extreme measures.

Dougherty even goes as far as packaging food for students with severe allergies, such as food oils. For allergies that severe, she recommends eating at Brisco’s because it is much easier to avoid cross-contamination there.
As for students with more common special diets, it is much easier to find something to eat without making prior arrangements. There is a chalkboard in the ADC that outlines some vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Dougherty said that over this next year the goal is to get lactose- free options on the chalkboard, but it is a work in progress.

There are always foods that those with special diets can ask an employee for, such as grilled chicken, rice (white or brown), gluten-free cookies, bread, bagels, brownies, blueberry or double chocolate chip muffins and more.

Both Mary E. Hanson, junior electrical and computer engineering major, who has been vegetarian her whole life, and Dougherty agree that it is not that hard for vegetarians to figure out their food options on campus because they already know what to look for.

If you have a special diet or food allergy and feel that there are not enough options for you, Dougherty said the best thing you can do is email her. Most students contact her through the Campus Life office.
There are always options and Dougherty said she is always open to suggestions on expanding the options available.

There is always someone you can talk to in both the cafeteria and in Brisco’s and the managers are always happy to help.

Leave a Reply