The Tully Dining Commons is probably the most iconic site on campus. Even a stranger could step on campus and know where it is and what it’s got. Let me tell you, this year the Tully has outdone itself. 

I am in the class of 2024, among the ones that remember the not so gilded era of the Tully’s dining options, where seemingly everything was encased in clear plastic containers. There was popcorn chicken for every meal, the fries were dry and the tables were closed off from eating every other week. It definitely did not do much to contribute to the sense of community in the school or among classmates. 

The Tully is now almost unrecognizable. All the food wait stations are open. We have the deli, tex mex, the salad bar, the main courses and the pasta towards the back. It’s such a rich array and I feel as though I have plenty of options; there is always something to satisfy everyone’s palate. 

The welcoming change for me is the use of real silverware on real plates. This new way of doing things makes it feel more dignified and home-like, rather than eating off of plastic. For the price that students pay to go here, last year felt like we were paying a bit too much for the number of things that were wrapped and packed in plastic. Then students had to go out and venture through empty classrooms, benches outside or go back to their dorms to eat their cold meal in solitude. Therefore, having the Tully feel like a restaurant is a great improvement.

My only gripe would be how often the soda and vitamin water machines go “out of service.” I would also love to see an iced tea option as a beverage. 

The Tully staff is extremely helpful; there have been many times where I needed something and they were there to assist me. That’s exactly what I and other students appreciate. And that’s why I send the Tully staff a thousand thank-yous. 

I must say that I do miss the option of the Tully providing to-go containers. If students want to take meals back to their resident halls for later, they have to provide their own containers. I bought some from Stop & Shop, but it was still a hassle of having to go out and buy it when the Tully could easily provide it on destination. But I digress, once you have your pack of containers, you can enjoy an afternoon pre-dinner, post-lunch meal in your dorm to keep the studying flowing. 

However one thing remains true after all is said and done – what makes the meal is the company. After a long day of classes, homework, meetings, stress, caffeine and adrenaline, there is nothing I look forward to more than seeing my friends at a “mega-table” at the back corner of the Tully and taking the time to catch up and laugh. This sense of community is what the Tully should symbolize to all that enter. After you finish your meal and leave, not only should your belly be full, but your spirit should be reinvigorated as well. 

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