On Tuesday, the Interclub Council released a “welcome letter” reminding new and old eating club members of their responsibilities. Signed by all the eating club presidents and ICC Chair and Colonial Club president emeritus Matthew Lucas ‘18, the letter focused on issues of safety, community, and tolerance, both in and out of the clubs. According to Lucas, this is the first time in at least six years that the ICC has released such a letter.
In an interview with The Daily Princetonian, Lucas said one goal in writing the letter was to show the University community how much work has been accomplished by the clubs over the past year.
This past fall marked the start of regular open houses and public historical tours, according to the letter. Lucas also referenced the progress represented by Undergraduate Student Government’s new committee regarding diversity in the eating clubs.
“There’s been a lot going on to make the Street more open in ways it hasn't been before,” said Lucas, adding that he hopes underclass students and faculty will take a look at the letter.
According to the letter, members of eating clubs should work to uphold principles that “promote safe and welcoming environments for all members of the Princeton community.” Among other principles, the ICC’s “Statement of Principles” says “club members need to be vigilant in creating an environment that reduces the likelihood of injury.”
Clubs often face issues of safety and security when they are open to the wider University community. This fall, Tiger Inn’s president and safety czar stepped down amid safety concerns at their sophomore semi formals.
The ICC welcome letter released Tuesday highlighted the ICC’s rules on sexual misconduct and harassment, possession of alcohol brought in from outside the club, and hazing.
Students receiving the letter were reminded that the 11 eating clubs prohibit sex- and gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment on their premises. According to the letter, members should work to ensure that their club “maintains an atmosphere free of any pressures on other members, guests and employees relating to sexual misconduct.”
The letter referenced New Jersey state law in stating that any form of hazing or harmful initiation ritual associated with a club is strictly prohibited.
Club members were reminded that “persons under the age of 21 are not permitted to bring alcohol onto any Club premises.” As a rule, bottles, cups, mugs, flasks, and other such containers from outside must be disposed of before a student can enter a club. The letter stressed that club members need to call for help for “severely intoxicated” people, and reiterated that the University does not punish those who call for help for intoxicated students.
The ICC also called on members of all 11 eating clubs to be tolerant of students whose dining preferences differ from their own. This spring, 77 percent of sophomores bickered or signed into a club. The letter encouraged club members to “be mindful and respectful of all choices around dining.... Not all students make the same choices or have the same outcomes, and that’s OK.”
Current club members were reminded that Quadrangle Club, Terrace Club, Cloister Inn, Colonial, and Charter Club still have spots available for students who wish to join. Additionally, the letter reminded current club members of the fact that there are University students who chose to be “independent,” join a food co-op, or purchase a dining hall plan their junior and senior years. The ICC letter said to “remember that there are happy, successful, proud Princetonians everywhere. We’re not all that different.”