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Special Dietary Consideration

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Special Dietary Needs for Guests 

Clarkson University strives to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who attend here, work here, and visit.  Guests of Clarkson University with special dietary needs are encouraged to contact Aramark Food Services prior to arrival to convey any special food requirements.  Medical documentation or approval from the Office of AccessABILITY Services is not required of our guests.  Arrangements may be made with Aramark food services without the disclosure of private medical information.  Guests are encouraged to state that special foods are required due to meet a medical need (without further explanation).  Aramark food services may be contacted at:  (315)268-3816 or by emailing Mr. Brian Printup, Executive Director of Aramark at

Special Dietary Consideration

Clarkson University offers a comprehensive mean plan that is required for all residential students.  The campus food service, provided by Aramark food services, provides a variety of food offerings at various venues across campus, including catered foods for special events.

Students requesting special dietary consideration may make their requests at any time throughout the year, but are encouraged to do so as soon as after admission or a medical need for a special diet emerges.

Students with disabilities and/or medical conditions who require a specific type of diet to ensure good health or equal access to education may request a dietary accommodation through the Office of AccessABILITY Services.  Students will need to participate in an evaluative intake process, which may also include representatives of the Campus Health Center, Campus Dining Services and the Counseling Center, as deemed appropriate by the Director of the Office of Accommodative Services. A representative from Residence Life will join with the other representatives for the review of requests. 

Students must meet with the Director of the Office of AccessABILITY Services to initiate a dietary accommodation, and the evaluative intake process may need to be repeated, depending upon the nature of the condition. Once a dietary accommodation has been made, it may be continued as long as the student continues to attend Clarkson.

Once eligibility has been determined, and the dietary accommodation is made, the student will meet with both the Director of the Office of AccessABILITY Services and a representative from Aramark food services to discuss specific dietary needs, any food allergens, and create an individualized plan for how the needs will be met.  The student will be encouraged to also meet with several members of the culinary team to establish a personal relationship with the culinary staff.  A variety of strategies will be employed to meet individual needs on a case-by-case basis with adjustments that could include meal plan/declining balance adjustment, orientation to food sources that meet the individual need, or individually prepared meals.  A rotational menu of allergen free foods may also be offered.  Often times, dietary accommodation requires a minimal amount of pre-planning on an on-going basis.  For example, a student may be asked to text a food order to the chef with an approximate arrival time.  Under special circumstances the Director of Accommodative Services may recommend other dietary related remedies such as special housing, exceptions to policies, emergency personnel notification, and other accommodations as the situation warrants.  Meal plan exemptions and reductions can only be offered to students with a medical condition resulting in special dietary needs which cannot be accommodated by the offerings provided by food services. All students who seek a medical exemption or reduction need to first complete the accommodation process for a dietary accommodation which will determine which accommodation is most appropriate for the individual student.  Nearly all students find that the dietary accommodation made for them meets their needs.

The overall goal of the dietary accommodation is to create an environment where students with medical needs for a specialized diet can continue to eat among their peers.  Students with dietary accommodation will have convenient access to healthy, nutritious foods in quantities they enjoy - just as all other Clarkson students do.

Students with dietary concerns are encouraged to self-advocate in asking questions about food ingredients and preparation techniques.  Our culinary staff will be glad to answer these questions.  Should a server not be able to provide the requested information, a food service supervisor/manager is available at each venue to do so.  Any student concerns with the dietary accommodation is encouraged to address them with the Director of the Office of AccessABILITY Services.  Although it is rare when issues arise, there is often an easy remedy that can be put into place immediately to address a concern.  

Please visit the Dining Services site for more information.

Documentation Requirements

In accordance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended in 2008, the Office of AccessABILITY Services provides equal access to campus residential programs and safeguards against discrimination of students with disabilities as defined by the ADA.  The ADA defines a person as a disability as any person who

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Has a record of such an impairment
  • Is regarded as having such an impairment

In order for the Office of AccessABILITY Services to determine if a student's condition meets the standard defined by the law an evaluative intake interview will be conducted with the student and any additional documentation supplied will be reviewed.  All decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and any additional information requested following the intake interview will be used to determine current functional limitations caused by the disability as well as any appropriate and reasonable modifications in a campus residential setting. 

Decisions made by the Office of AccessABILITY Services at Clarkson University may not translate to other institutions. 

Please visit the Rights and Responsibilities page for more information.

Please note that Clarkson University does not provide comprehensive evaluations. 

Please contact the Director of the Office of AccessABILITY Services with any questions or concerns.


Request for Dietary Accommodation for Medical Purposes

Dietary Accommodation Agreement

Useful links:

Vegan and Vegetarian Resources