"Redhead attendance required, other hair colors encouraged," reads the email invitation announcing the Valentine's Day party of one of Princeton's newest minority student groups.
Boasting the motto "Carrot tops are green, Einstein," the Princeton Redheads Society is in the process of becoming an official University club, planning a sunblock and skin cancer awareness drive and organizing various social events to reach out to and bring together redheads.
The club's founders, Doug Rosenthal '04 and Ann Glotzbach '05, met earlier this year at the'Street,' where Glotzbach was sporting an Indian costume. Glotzbach said that after laughing about how she was probably the first-ever redheaded Indian and talking about being redheads, "we both realized we shared the same secret dream of forming a redheads club."
After Rosenthal and Glotzbach sent out an email to about ten of their red-haired friends and received an enthusiastic response, they decided to begin recruiting in earnest. The group has quickly grown to over 50 members, including students without red hair who serve as "liaisons" to the rest of the hair colors.
"It's more of a phenomenon than anything we did," Rosenthal said.
The group has already chosen its officers — Rosenthal is president, Glotzbach is vice-president, Josh White '04 is graphics chair and Austin Saypol '04 is secretary — and hosted a few study breaks. Tomorrow's Valentine's Day party in the basement of Dod Hall is the club's biggest event so far.
During the study breaks, the group has discussed experiences common to redheads, such as being taunted and called "carrot top" and sharing a variation in the melanocortin-1 receptor.
They also have written letters to redheaded faculty members, congratulating them on their accomplishments — which would make Eric the Red and his fellow Vikings, Thomas Jefferson and Antonio Vivaldi, proud — and asking them to join the Redheads Society. Each letter is accompanied by SPF 50 sunblock.
"It's a fun way to meet people," Rosenthal said of the group. "[Being redheaded] is not one of the first ways people identify themselves," so the group brings together many different kinds of people.
Glotzbach said she has found that there are many "different ways people deal with their redheadedness," but at the same time, Rosenthal added, "sometimes you hit on something profound that everyone has in common."
They noted that the members of the club share quick wits, stunning good looks, a love of procrastination and a desire to "explore their redheadedness." Members also realize that there's no real way to profit from being a redhead except through the club, said Rosenthal.
"Reactions [to the group] are varied," he added. "People without red hair tend to think it's stupid, but redheads think it's the coolest thing ever." He emphasized that all members of the University community are welcome to become a part of the organization.
Future goals of the Redheads Society include appearing on the Conan O'Brian show (O'Brian supposedly loves redheads), setting up a website and working to reduce the use of terms that deride redheads, such as "redheaded step-kid."