D and I visited Tufts last spring and I made the unfortunate decision to suggest that we eat lunch in one of the dining halls.
I think we at ate Carmichael.
The dining hall was so rundown, dark, dirty, and gloomy (even on a sunny spring day) that it has almost completely turned her off of applying to Tufts. In many areas the carpeting was worn through and had been duct-taped over. In sum, a very depressing experience.
Have there been any improvements or are any planned?
I know there are other option but I think there is only one other "dining hall" on campus. Has that one been recently renovated. What is its condition?
We ate at Dewick during Parents' Weekend this year and did not notice any of the problems you mentioned. It was sunny and pleasant, the food was fresh and good, and staff was friendly. My son eats almost all his meals there (it's nearest to his dorm).
We also ate at Carmichael when we toured Tufts but I also did not notice those issues then, either. However, we did notice how happy the students were and how lively and engaged they were with each other. That made such a deep impression on my son that it became a part of his "Why Tufts" essay.
My son eats at Dewick as well since its closer to his dorm. Carmichael is an older dorm But food at Tufts is excellent. My son loves to eat well and he always tells me how great the food is. In fact he was home last weekend and I couldn't tempt him with any home cooked meals since they have everything at Tufts. Some of his friends went to schools where the food is terrible. So I think he's very lucky. Not to mention that he's really happy being there and not just because of the food. When we visited we noticed how happy all the kids were.
My S applied ED to Tufts without once stepping foot in their dining halls or their dorm rooms!!!
He also fell in LOVE with the wisdom of the people, the kindness he encountered, the smiling faces he talked to, the engaged professors.....we've eaten in both dining halls numerous times now that S is a sophomore and while not gourmet, their meals were quite tasty for a college dining experience, imo.
The people make the college, not the buildings! Yeah, some buildings are older and could use repair, but it's not that big a deal for us personally.
As an alum, I was blown away by food at Dewick when we visited with my son on Accepted Students Day. The variety of options was amazing. According to Wikipedia, Tufts has been on Princeton Review's Best Campus Food list since 2005, once in second place. Another college review site gives them an A+ for food.
Carmichael is an older and much smaller facility; if you had asked around I'm sure someone would have told you to eat at Dewick. Though I have many fond memories of Carmichael from the "olden days" ;-)
Is it possible you're confusing campus experiences with another college? I was in Carmichael last week, and there's no duct tape anywhere on the floor, and I cannot recall any being there last spring either. It seems foolish to argue with your experience - after all, who better than you to know what you saw - but your description doesn't sound like either dining hall at Tufts.
Hi, I have been reading these boards for a long time now and finally decided to create an account. It's fun.
Actually when I visited Tufts a while back I too saw some taped up area come to think of it. The students were eating and looked happy regardless. That didn't bother me. I ended up at Duke but my cousin went to Tufts 5 years ago and had only nice things to say about it.
I don't know when Dewick was last renovated but it looked great; very modern in its design. Large facility with lots of space to move around, dining area had high ceilings with skylights so it was very sunny and bright, and there was additional seating in a loft area.
It's too bad you didn't go there or to some other dining facilities like the Mugar Cafe or the Brown and Brew CoffeeHouse or the places in the campus center.
It's especially too bad if your daughter decides against an excellent school like Tufts because she didn't like the smallest, oldest cafeteria on campus. But we know students reject schools for all sorts of reasons; mine rejected RIT because he thought the campus was ugly and Union because the tour guide was a total ditz ;-)
myluckydog, I asked my D1 (sophomore at Tufts) for her comments on your post. Her reply:
Umm.. I've never noticed duct tape in carm. I could just be oblivious, but it definitely is not that bad at all. Yes, the side that isn't next to the windows is kind of dark, which is why people sit on the side with the windows unless they're avoiding their friends so that they can get work done.
More important than the facilities is the fact that the food is awesome and it's really easy to eat healthfully at Tufts. One of the biggest complaints I've heard from friends at other schools is that it's impossible to stay healthy when they're on a meal plan. That's thoroughly not the case here.
There are a lot of things that people complain about at Tufts, but the dining halls definitely aren't ever one of them. The food on the weekends isn't as good, but compared to most other schools it's still incredible.
The last president of Tufts, Larry Bacow, often said that in the entire time he was at Tufts he never once received a complaint about the food. Note: he was with the university for a decade!
One thing I notice is that your original post focused on the ambience but my D1's response and most of the other posts focus on the quality of the food. What did your D think of the food? Is she more food-as-fuel, or is she more on the food-motivated side of things?
BeanTownGirl - in my four years at Tufts I never ate at Mugar Cafe (or heard of anyone else - undergrad or grad student who did) - is it good? There are some decent options in the Campus Center as you point out.
To answer the original question - Carm's dining hall is in the basement and only has windows on one side, so it can be dark and gloomy-ish in the parts further from the windows or if it's dark/cloudy out. The food is still good and I never noticed any duct tape, but I didn't eat there often.
Dewick was just renovated this summer (I went back over Thanksgiving) and they redid the floors/carpeting, but it was totally fine before that so I'm not sure why they bothered