Alumni reflect on food, friends, farce at eating clubs over the years| May 31, 2018
University alumni shared their experiences as members of eating clubs with The Daily Princetonian, reflecting on food, friends, and farce.
Teri Noel Towe ’70, who says he was the last student selectively bickered into Colonial Club before the club went sign-in in the spring of 1972, shared a story he kept quiet for 20 years: He and a friend pulled a prank at Ivy Club.
“In the middle of the night, we snuck into Ivy and changed every light bulb to a 100-watter,” he said. “The majordomo comes down the stairs the next morning, turns on the lights, and blew out the circuit break. They had to completely rewire. My chum and I … kept our mouths firmly shut. Neither of us took credit for it.”
Forty-eight years later, Towe figures the statute of limitations has run out.
Stephen Jones ’68, a member of Quadrangle Club, commented on his club’s presence on Prospect Avenue.
“Quad was a very social club back then…. It was considered a friendly club, where people from all different majors would get together,” he said.
Robert Wright ’97, a member of the now-defunct Campus Club, said the club served many roles: good company, good food, and occasional live band. On May 31, he visited the club, which closed within a few years of his graduation.
“Two years behind me, they had a huge class; they completely filled out. It appeared to be in pretty good shape when I was graduating, but dwindled within a few years,” he said.
Jessica Lautin ’03, former managing editor at the ‘Prince,’ was a member of Tower Club. She reminisced about times before students carried around cell phones.
“It was just great that you knew you’d always run into your friends at the clubs. And it was free and entertainment and fun,” she said.
Anna Evans ’03, a member of Terrace Club, said the club was up and coming in her years.
“They had a lot of membership start with my year. It was fun,” she said. “The taproom was open Tuesday through Sunday. It was a good vibe in there — not that I went every day.”
She added that Terrace was sign-in when she was a student.
Towe said he thinks the current Bicker system is unfair.
“I do not think it is fair either to the clubs or to force the students to choose what clubs they want to be bickered by. They should be interviewed by every single club that’s open,” he said.
This mirrors the Bicker system that, according to Towe, was in place when he attended the University.
“[The clubs] went around and interviewed sophomores during the break between exams and the spring semester in the dorm rooms. So you didn’t go off for that break week,” he said.
Towe saw this as part of a larger issue.
“The problem with [the University] for an elderly flatulence like me is: too bureaucratic,” he added.