Bucknell University understands how challenging dining with dietary needs and allergy concerns can be. A student with a dietary need or allergy concern will need to work closely with Bucknell Dining Services and/or our Registered Dietician.

Dining Services offers EatWell, an online tool that allows students to view nutritional information and filter menu options by allergens. Dining Services and our Registered Dietician give ownership to students and help to identify specific items that can be produced on demand for the student. Dining Services and the Registered Dietician can meet with the student to review the menu and daily offerings to help accommodate dietary needs.

Below you will find information about the following:

  • Process
  • Timeline
  • Documentation Needed
  • Documentation Process
  • Food Allergy and Housing
  • Meal Plan Exemption Statement
  • Forms

Process

  • The student contacts the Dining Services Manager at dining@bucknell.edu or 570.577.1240 to set up a meeting to discuss dietary needs or allergy concerns.
    • If, after this meeting, the student feels comfortable that dietary needs will be met, then the process ends here.
    • If, after this meeting, the student believes that the dietary needs cannot be met and that the needs are a disability that will require necessary accommodation; then proceed with the next steps in this process.
  • The student must contact the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) Director, Heather Fowler at 570.577.1188 or hf007@bucknell.edu and must provide documentation to the OAR Director that the dining need/food allergy is a disability. Please see "Documentation Needed" section below.
  • The OAR Director will also contact the Dining Services Manager (and other pertinent staff), the student, and if needed, the medical professional to gather additional information.
  • The OAR Director will review all information/materials and assess the status and reasonableness of the request.
  • The OAR Director will notify the student via email or phone to report whether the accommodation request is approved, request more information, or explain why the request is not approved.
  • If the request is not approved and the student is unsatisfied with the outcome of this process, the student may follow the OAR Grievance Procedure.

Timeline

  • All incoming student dining accommodation requests should be received, reviewed, and decided upon before the student’s first meal on campus.
  • Any current student requesting a dining accommodation must allow time for the process to take place; thus, the sooner the student self-discloses dining accommodation needs, the sooner they will receive notification of approval or denial of the request.

Food Allergy and Housing

Request for a Kitchen in Residence

  • Bucknell Dining is very allergen-focused and thus accommodation requests for a kitchen in the student’s own residence should be infrequent. The student must go through the collaborative process outlined above first before requesting a kitchen in residence.
  • If requesting a kitchen in residence, this process follows the deadlines for Housing Accommodation Requests:
    • Upper class students: prior to March 1 (current and updated documentation may be required)
    • First-year students: prior to June 10
    • Transfer students/returning from a leave (current and updated documentation may be required):
      fall: prior to July 1; spring: prior to December 1

Request for Specific Roommates

  • All students, regardless of disability or accommodation need, must go through the regular Housing Services procedure regarding roommate selection. A request to reside with a specific roommate is a preference not an accommodation.
  • Learning how to live with another person and how to compromise and resolve differences are critical life skills. Managing food allergies independently and being an advocate for self-advocating around food allergy needs is a key skill to develop.
  • Communicating effectively with roommates about concerns will be very important. Most roommates wish to have a harmonious relationship with their roommate and compromise around issues like food allergies will be able to be reasonably resolved.

Documentation Needed

Documentation Process

  1. Student completes the Dining Accommodation Request Form (Student) and submits it to the OAR.
  2. Student signs the waiver on the Dining Accommodation Request Form (Professional) and asks professional to complete it.
  3. The student confirms receipt of both forms via email to the OAR Director.

While the OAR understands the importance of confidentiality and privacy, if a request for a dining accommodation is to be given full and appropriate consideration, it may be necessary for the OAR to contact the certifying professional. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the certifying professional’s office of the need for the information requested on the Dining Accommodation Request Form (Professional) and to authorize the release of requested information. All documentation is kept with the OAR which shares information with Dining Services and others pertinent to the decision making process. If the form(s) are not completed, the OAR may not be able to proceed with the request.

Meal Plan Exemption Statement

The OAR along with Dining Services collaborates with our students to make every effort to provide disability dining accommodation needs. Due to the nature of our allergen-focused Dining Services; meal plan exemptions are rare. However, if after completing this collaborative process it is decided that Dining Services cannot accommodate your dining needs, a meal plan exemption may be made.

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