Willa Jackson

Buttery (noun)

  1. A storeroom for liquors
  2. A room stocking provisions for sale to students

Each residential college at Yale has its own buttery. As much as I am sure students wish the first definition pertained to their buttery, the latter is more accurate. I can’t speak for all of them, but for the beloved Silliman buttery, it is so much more than that second definition alone.

The Sillibutt, as we like to call it, is a place where students come together to socialize, eat, work, watch sports and play games. There’s an unspoken understanding that this place is more than a pitstop — it’s a gathering spot where ideas flow as freely as the milkshakes. 

Every night, hungry students line the wall, waiting to order and hoping to satisfy their cravings. The Sillibutt’s extensive menu provides options perfect for a late night snack, a make-up dinner or a sweet treat. 

The menu is a mosaic of comfort food and late-night cravings. From steaming bowls of ramen to sizzling kimchi quesadillas, the chefs—students armed with a desire to satisfy—bring diverse flavors to life.

Student-created murals fill the walls, giving the space a welcoming ambiance. When the clock strikes 10, the Sillibutt is open for business. Music fills the space, and the scents of chicken nuggets and curly fries waft through the air. 

With a clear view into the gym and basketball court, it feels as though everyone is sharing a common space, whether they are working, working out or just hanging out. The buttery also has two vending machines and connects to a hallway leading to music practice rooms, the Silliman movie theater, the art studio and the laundry rooms. Whether you’re settling in for the night or simply passing through, encountering friends is guaranteed.  

In the midst of deadlines and exams, the Sillibutt becomes a refuge—a place where the line between work and play blurs. The buttery’s long, rectangular table encourages collaboration; students sit side-by-side, helping each other with assignments, working together on projects and talking. The couches are often filled with excited sports fans cheering on a game, or engrossed watchers viewing their favorite series. 

As a first-year, the buttery has given me the opportunity to meet new people and interact with members of the Silliman community that I wouldn’t have otherwise. A few weeks ago, I brought materials for an art project to the buttery and sat at the big table to begin my work. As I worked to construct a ceramic vessel, people started to join me at the table, asking about the assignment I was working on and coming to help me craft. Being surrounded by peers and having a network of support and encouragement at my disposal is a testament to the community that the buttery brings.   

So, whether you’re seeking inspiration, a quiet corner to study or some food that won’t break your bank, the buttery isn’t just a stop—it’s an experience that beautifully blends creation, community and academics.