For a vast majority of Princeton students, the transition from sophomore to junior year is marked by changes to living and dining plans. During the spring semester, sophomores must make challenging choices regarding their housing and dining options for the following year. Some sophomores solidify their junior-year dining plans following bicker and the spring eating club sign-in period in February. However, after the bicker and sign-in period, many sophomores are still unsure of their dining plans for the following year. This problem is not isolated to sophomores. Juniors who have spent a year taking meals in clubs, co-ops or residential colleges or as independents may be interested in pursuing alternate dining plans during their senior year. While there is an abundance of dining options available to undergraduates, the Editorial Board believes that rising juniors and seniors are at a distinct disadvantage when establishing or amending dining plans at the start of the fall semester since there is a lack of information on dining options and associated deadlines. As such, the Board calls on the rising junior and senior class governments, in collaboration with the Undergraduate Student Government and the Interclub Council, to compile and publicize information regarding dining options for rising juniors and seniors.
In the months leading up to spring bicker, the 2018 class council, USG and ICC made significant efforts to help sophomores navigate the process to join a club for their junior or senior years. Specifically, the Princeton Eating Clubs website maintained by the ICC offers all students valuable information related to clubs. This information covers club membership fees, details regarding bicker policies, availability of financial aid resources and a timeline of the spring bicker process. Additionally, the 2018 class council sent periodic emails to the class throughout the fall semester with information about sophomore-specific events at the clubs and infographics about the process to join a club. The Board applauds the 2018 class council and the ICC for these efforts and believes class councils and the ICC should replicate this sort of programing for rising juniors and seniors.
Specifically, the Board calls on the ICC to create a timeline for fall bicker and sign-in to be included on the Princeton Eating Clubs website. This timeline should include the same information as the spring club timeline: start and end dates to sign into clubs, deadlines to register for bicker and club-specific timelines for bicker. In addition to the creation of this timeline, the ICC should collaborate with the 2018 and 2017 class councils and USG to publish information about sign-in club capacities, how to be placed on wait lists for sign-in clubs at capacity, what clubs are offering fall bicker, how to join co-ops or co-op wait lists and deadlines for amending or dropping University meal plans. Though some of this information is not available until the fall for logistical reasons, the Board advocates for the ICC to create a page on its website for the information at the end of the spring semester. With the implementation of a subscription feature, students may receive weekly updates throughout the summer as the information is compiled.
In closing, the Board believes it is incorrect to assume that rising juniors and seniors have finalized their upperclassmen dining choices after sophomore spring bicker and sign-in. We believe the proposed changes will simplify the decision-making process for rising juniors and seniors contemplating making changes to dining plans. We also believe the changes may compel some students who wouldn’t otherwise consider joining clubs to do so. As such, making fall bicker and sign-in more transparent is an important step to making dining options more transparent and accessible for all undergraduates.Editorial Board