In the past, I’ve been pretty clear about my frustration with the lack of dining options at Fairfield, but I have to give credit to the school. I believe there are many more options this year with the addition of Sambazon Acai in the library, the pizza and hot-bowl food truck and the rotating food trucks. I’ve run into no issues with the offered food this year, so I give Fairfield their credit.
Despite the menu upgrade, there have been frequent comments regarding the hours of operation of the Tully, like questioning why it closes at 8 p.m. Three weeks ago, a Fizz user posted a poll asking, “Would you sign a petition to keep the tully open past 8?” A whopping 2,173 students responded that they would.
The posts regarding the Tully hours have frequented Fizz since the launching of the app, with another user saying, “Why can’t we have a food place open past 10? The Tully opens at 7:30 a.m. but closes at 8 p.m. More people want to eat past 8 than 7:30.” Another post states, “Upvote if we should have another dining option that doesn’t close at 8 p.m.”
I never put much thought into the closing hours of the Tully myself, but I was surprised when I visited Trinity College over Halloween and noted their dining operation hours. We went to get food at 10 p.m. and my friend was confused about why I was so surprised by this.
Trinity is one of many schools with varying hours per dining option, with “The Cave” open until 11 p.m. the entire week. This does not include their dining halls, which open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
My sister attends Wellesley College, where they have a specific dining option that has “Late Night” hours for students. These are only a few examples of how college dining halls have accommodated students who are up late.
Sophomore Caroline Hart expressed her frustration at the early closing time of the Tully. “The Tully closes way too early. I have late classes some days that go until 7:45 p.m. and there is not enough time after to go to the Tully, because it closes at 8 p.m. I could go to the Stag, but that becomes repetitive as there are limited food options.”
As someone who has dinner between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., I never ran into an issue with the closing time at the Tully, but I did run into an issue with the weekend hours of other dining options. Everything except the Tully, the Stag and Dunkin is closed on weekends. However, the Stag does not open until 3 p.m., and Dunkin does not take meal swipes, so if you’re trying to save your dining dollars, you’re pretty much limited to the Tully. And you may not even be in the mood for the Tully.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind if the hours of the Acai place, Dunkin, Starbucks and Sushi Do were cut shorter during the week if it meant they were open on the weekends. For example, I don’t believe Acai needs to be open until 4 p.m., so if they cut their hours to 2 p.m., that could leave room for them to be open on Saturdays.
“I understand the staff has lives outside of Fairfield, but I wish there was a way to hire more staff or potentially create a night shift,” said Anne Baird ‘25. “If one place has staff that specifically work at night, that would possibly allow for one dining option to be open past 11 p.m.”
Not having that many dining options on weekends means I’ve had to rely on groceries on weekends, which shouldn’t have been an option for underclassmen. We don’t have a kitchen like the townhouses or Barnyard, so we cannot make sustainable meals for ourselves. Not only that, but we also don’t have cars, so I’ve often had to Uber to various grocery stores, which can be pretty expensive.
To close the Tully so early also feels hypocritical to the basic meal plan, where four meal swipes a week must be used at the Tully. Before I fully understood the meal plan, I went to get Stag after Tully hours but didn’t realize I had used up my weekly meal exchanges. I was grateful they let me still have my dinner, but what if they had turned me down? A generic meal plan at Fairfield is $3,400. For that price, why do students have to go hungry on weekends or after 8 p.m.? Also, why are students also only given 14 meal swipes a week and made to skip some meals during the week? Realistically, other colleges have proven that there are ways to be fair to staff while also making hours go later into the night.