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Interclub Council closes eating clubs to first-years during frosh week

Forbes Pizza

Pizza was served for all first-years at Forbes College Monday night. Hundreds of students gathered there, possibly in lieu of Prospect Avenue.

The Interclub Council announced Monday, Sept. 10, that first-year students would not be allowed into eating clubs until the start of the semester. 

The ICC told The Daily Princetonian they decided to close the clubs so that first-year students could focus on the Orientation process, which according to the University’s website, goes from Friday, Aug. 31, to Tuesday, Sept. 18. 


The Department of Public Safety confirmed they brought the most students to Princeton Medical Center and McCosh Health Center Sunday night, compared to the rest of “frosh week,” with five students sent to PMC and six sent to McCosh.

In all, 28 students were brought by Public Safety to either PMC or McCosh between Friday and Monday night.

ICC President and Cloister Inn President Hannah Paynter ’19 told the ‘Prince’ Monday night, “the Interclub Council and the University are coordinating to ensure first-years have the tools and opportunities to adjust to life at Princeton.”

A Quadrangle Club officer told the ‘Prince’ on Tuesday that the ICC decision was motivated by the nature of the orientation schedule, arguing, “[first-years] are still going through all the orientation programs.”

The decision to close clubs came the night before the morning first-year students selected courses, beginning at 9 a.m.

“Orientation is an important time for members of the first-year class to forge bonds with their classmates that will last through their time at Princeton and beyond,” acting University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss told the ‘Prince’ in an email statement. “So we ask first-year students to focus on Orientation events during the period before the start of classes. We shared our view with the clubs and asked for their cooperation in supporting these goals.”


According to the Quad officer, the decision was the result of ongoing ICC discussions regarding “best practices.”

“We started talking about frosh week last semester,” she added.

Some first-year students who talked to the ‘Prince’ on Monday night claimed the decision was unfair.

“Just because there are a bunch of freshmen that don’t know their limits and get McCoshed, it’s not fair for the rest of us that aren’t as stupid and know how to handle ourselves,” Rayyan Sarker ’22 said. 

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She added that she had seen some students in need of medical help on Prospect Avenue, where the eating clubs are located, on Sunday night. 

When speaking to the 'Prince,' the Quad officer said she wanted to dispel rumors that someone broke their leg on Prospect Avenue Sunday night. 

She confirmed someone fell on the Quad dance floor and had to leave in an ambulance. But she said he is not injured.

Besides Quadrangle Club, Cloister Inn, Colonial Club, Charter Club, and Terrace Club, were open Sunday night.

First-year students were quick to note the irony of the ICC’s choice to close the eating clubs when they did.

“When my OA leader told us, I said ‘Frosh week without frosh?! What?,’” Celia Buchband ’22 told the ‘Prince’ outside McCarter Theater Monday night.

“If this is frosh week, it should be for the frosh,” Frances Mangina ’22 said.

“I think it’s whack,” Codey Babineaux ’22 said.

Most first-years said they initially heard about the ICC decision through GroupMe, usually from their RCA.

Tabitha Belshee ’20, an RCA in Wilson, was one of the first RCAs to learn of the ICC's decision. 

Belshee said Quad's president "asked her to spread the word" of the discussion at 8:30 p.m. on Monday. Belshee then sent a message to an all-RCA group chat at 8:45 p.m. encouraging her fellow RCAs to tell their ’zees they couldn't go to eating clubs that night.

Belshee clarified that RCAs often have discussions about being proactive in keeping first-years safe. She referenced the important of the orientation experience multiple times.

She also said she supports the ICC's decision.

"I trust that the ICC has a lot more access to information than I do," she said.

According to the Quad officer, four RCAs approached her after the ICC decision was announced to express their support for closing the clubs to first-years.

The annual Tiger Night dance performance took place Monday night, and members of dance groups expressed disappointment over the ICC decision.

Amanda Morrison ’19 said she thought first-years would be missing out.

“I’d definitely rather [the first-years] be out because it's a fun way to meet each other and get excited for the new year,” she said. 

Some first-year students didn’t mind the fact that the eating clubs were off-limits.

“I haven’t gone to the street,” Joshua Ku ’22 told the ‘Prince’ Monday night. “I wasn't going in the first place so it was completely fine for me.”

“I don’t really go, so I don’t really care,” Daniel Ju ’22 told the ‘Prince.’

The ‘Prince’ talked to Johanna Linna ’22 after 10 p.m. on Monday night, right after she heard the news. She said she didn’t care about the decision to close the clubs, based on an experience on Prospect Avenue earlier in the week.

“I looked at one of the eating clubs but the line was so long that it wasn't worth it,” she said.

She added that a friend had waited half an hour last night before being allowed to enter an eating club.