As a fourth-year graduate student in electrical engineering, I have seen many changes to graduate student life which have been contrary to the desires and wishes of the graduate student body. The D-Bar and the Graduate College were two of the reasons I came to Princeton. No other graduate school I had looked at at the time had a social organization for graduate students. The D-Bar and the GC were two excellent ways to meet fellow graduate students and foster a sense of graduate student community.
Due to the restrictive housing rules — and the ridiculous requirement that graduate students must remain on the meal plan while they reside in the GC — it is difficult for most graduate students to remain in the GC for their entire five years at Princeton. Unfortunately, by not allowing graduate students who live in off-campus housing or University apartments access to the D-Bar, the University has sent a strong message that fostering and maintaining the graduate student community is not a priority of this administration.
While undergraduates have plenty of social outlets, including the eating clubs, the D-Bar is the only social outlet for graduate students. As stated in the Feb. 24 'Prince' article, business at the D-Bar will decline as a result of the recent decision by the administration. I can only imagine the next scenario: It becomes too difficult financially to continue running the D-Bar and the University will seek to close it to all students. This would confirm rumors that the University really just wants to steal the D-Bar liquor license from the graduate students and bring it to the new Frist Campus Center.
This University has an amazing endowment, but it is mainly from undergraduate alumni support. I cannot and will not give a penny of my money to this University until I see that the University changes its discriminatory and reckless policy toward graduate student life. Furthermore, I cannot recommend to prospective graduate students that they come to this University for the same reasons that I did four years ago.
I urge you to please reconsider your policy toward the D-Bar and recognize the amendment passed by the Graduate College residents to open the D-Bar to all graduate students. Anything less is totalitarian. Robert J. Runser GS