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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Here we are starting university and I feel like I am back to the education process we went through at the elementary stage.

An orientation event was held earlier this week When students registered they were asked to indicate any allergies. Peanuts and nuts were clearly indicated. Would you be upset that peanutbutter cookies were served? It really seems a poor choice and not necessary to do.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
I would encourage your child to follow up with a note mentioning how disappointing this was. it was clearly a moment of poor judgement in an otherwise well organized event. The fact that they asked means they are trying to get it. Many events have a post event wrap up when they organizers identify what worked, what didn't and what they can do next time to make it a more successful event.

Now is the time to start empowering your child to deal with moment such as this as there will most definately be more to come.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 am
Posts: 207
Location: Winnipeg, MB
I wouldn't "expect" any accommodations, but would welcome and embrace and encourage them if/when they happen! We invested a significant amount of time, well in advance of accepting their offer of admission, ensuring our son would be in a residence environment that would be safe.

Much to our delight, he not only got a room with a kitchen where he can prepare his own food, but his residence where he's living doesn't serve any peanut or nut products at their events. This wasn't anything we asked for, just something they've been doing "for a while". They did caution that they don't watch for may contains or cross contamination, but the fact that the community centre isn't chock full of nutty things was encouraging! Top that off with Peanut/Nut Free Ice Cream being served at one of their weekly events, "Sunday Sundaes", DS was over the moon!

Of course this is not to say that everything on campus is that way - how could it possibly be with 40,000 students and events being handled by any one of hundreds of campus groups. The pancake breakfasts & BBQs are a no go, as was all of the food served at a summer orientation session, but it is actually what we expected. He just needs to keep his hands to himself and make appropriate choices of what he eats, what he touches, etc. All stuff he'll need to do for the rest of his life, whether at school or at work.

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adult son allergic to peanuts, most tree nuts, eggs and penicillin.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Thank you for your input. I didn't want to make an unreasonable issue. The orientation experience last spring at another university had been so positive that anything in comparison would be hard to measure up.

We were glad to see that organizers thought to ask about allergies. Hopefully they will actually follow up another time. We also did not expect they would prepare food my daughter could consume. It was nevertheless disappointing that the choice to offer peanut butter cookies to everyone was made. This suggested a lack of understanding and communication.

Thankfully my daughter is able to live at home while attending this university. She packs her own lunch. So far she is excited about her courses. That is really key.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 am
Posts: 207
Location: Winnipeg, MB
We went to 3 university open houses/orientations in various provinces and all offered nutty treats at the events. I see the same things at corporate meetings and conferences. I guess I'm just never surprized to see nutty things at large gatherings and wouldn't expect it to be any different.

Why is it that catering companies and commercial food preparers always seem to offer the same products that are chock full of nuts?! Years ago they adapted to accommodate vegetarians and now it's main stream - same with ethnic accommodations. Maybe allergen accomodations will be normal some day too . . .just not holding my breath.

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adult son allergic to peanuts, most tree nuts, eggs and penicillin.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Did you find the universities you visited to be very allergy aware? Does your son share a kitchen with other students with allergies? Is it usual at your university for a first year student to have access to a private kitchen?
I have only heard of this at one university.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 am
Posts: 207
Location: Winnipeg, MB
I would say that they were all certainly aware of allergies, but mostly not accommodating of them.

You are correct in that normally early years students would be in a res with a meal plan or shared accommodations, but thankfully they were able to arrange for a private room for our son which is the only way it could really have worked. If you want more info, please PM me and we can discuss offline.

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adult son allergic to peanuts, most tree nuts, eggs and penicillin.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Off To College was the cover story of Allergic Living Magazine's Fall 2006 edition.
http://www.allergicliving.com/?p=14

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Thank you for that article Susan. Actually I had looked it up and discussed it with a nurse at our university.
She asked me to forward it to her. She is trying to get updated training for security personnel and staff.


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