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Campus Club to reopen as study space

Campus Club will reopen in September 2008 as a social venue and study space for members of the University community, administrators said at yesterday's Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) meeting.

Members of the planning committee — Lauren Barnett '08, Kellam Conover GS, former USG president Alex Lenahan '07 and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne — said renovations making Campus wheelchair accessible will begin this summer. The club closed in 2005 due to economic difficulties.


The club will retain its name and Campus alumni will keep an office in the building, as well as have rights to the property during special events like Reunions and football games against Harvard or Yale.

While construction details have not yet been determined, the general plan has been confirmed. Three floors of the clubhouse will be renovated to provide a place for undergraduates, graduate students and professors to gather.

The kitchen, which is currently in the basement, will be transformed into an activity room "where small banquets and receptions can be held," Barnett said. The basement will also have a lounge.

The tap room will "perhaps serve some alcohol," though there are no plans to turn the club into a pub. Space in the backyard will provide room for student events. There will also be an area for students to purchase snacks.

"This will not be a place for a student to have all his meals," Dunne said.

The dining hall on the first floor will turn into a larger banquet space where student groups can host banquets and lectures in Robertson or McCosh Halls can have receptions. The rest of the first floor will become home to computers and printers along with tables and areas for socializing and studying.


The second floor will have pool tables as well as the alumni office. The library on the second floor will provide additional studying areas and another computer cluster.

While there are currently no plans to keep the space open 24 hours every day, the building will be open during the summer for the graduate and undergraduate students who remain on campus. Students and professors will use their proxes to gain access to the building all year.

The 18-member program board, comprised of 12 undergraduate students and six graduate students, will direct the club's day-to-day activities, sponsor club events and oversee student group-run events at the club. The informal motto adopted by the planning committee, "For students, by students," will provide the basis for most of the management of the club.

An advisory board consisting of six undergraduate students, three graduate students and three ex-officio members will direct the further development of the club. A manager will be hired by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.

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One of the main goals in reopening the club, which has been likened to a Frist Campus Center in an eating club, is to promote student-professor interaction. While the English department cannot hold a professor-only cocktail hour in the club, if it wishes to hold an event for students and professors, it would be welcome to do so, the planning committee said.

Another goal of the reopening would be to cut costs for student groups that host events there, Dunne said in an interview after the meeting. Because most venues include few, if any, tables for student groups to use, organizations are left to use their own funds to rent tables from Building Services. "We envision that students will have all the things they need to do the event," Dunne said, noting that operating in the club would be more "clear and efficient."

Though students on the planning board made comparisons between Campus Club and Cafe Vivian in Frist, Dunne said he does not necessarily see the club as a new Cafe Viv. "It's another social option for students," he said. "Is one coffeehouse enough to fill the needs of 5,000 undergrads and 2,000 graduate students?"

"We need our venues to catch up to the number of students we have," he said, adding that he hopes the area will be a meeting place for undergraduates to meet graduate students and have discussions.

"We want to create a sense of community so that every member of the student population is a member of this club," Lenahan said.

Town hall meetings will be held next week for undergraduate and graduate students to discuss the reopening of the club.