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Eating clubs to be ‘members-only’ through mid-September

<h5>Cottage Club, one of the eating clubs at Princeton</h5>
<h6><strong>Candace Do / The Daily Princetonian</strong>&nbsp;</h6>
Cottage Club, one of the eating clubs at Princeton
Candace Do / The Daily Princetonian 

All 11 of Princeton’s eating clubs will be open only to members until approximately Sept. 16, according to Interclub Council (ICC) and Terrace Club President Schuyler Kean ’22.

Prospective members of both Bicker and sign-in clubs will be permitted to enter, however, in early September.

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“Juniors and seniors who are looking to join eating clubs will be allowed to visit the eating clubs at the appropriate times on the appropriate days,” Kean told The Daily Princetonian. “Outside of that, we’re members-only until the weekend of the 16th. That’s a forced mandate for all the clubs.”

Kean explained that the ICC chose to set a members-only policy due to safety concerns. In addition to the threat posed by the pandemic, she said, many current members and even officers have little experience with in-person club events, and need time to adjust to on-duty responsibilities before welcoming the entire student body back to the Street.

She added that the ICC took guidance from the Graduate Interclub Council (GICC) and the University’s current COVID-19 policies.

On Aug. 31, GICC President Hap Cooper ’82 told the ‘Prince’ that all clubs will follow the University’s masking guidelines.

“Everyone entering a club building will be asked to remain masked at all times other than when they are actively eating or drinking,” he wrote. “We’ve requested that signs be posted in all clubs announcing that policy and that undergraduate officers, safety patrol and security guards enforce the mask mandate.”

An indoor mask mandate is currently in place for all University buildings until Sept. 15 at the earliest, by which point the policy will be re-evaluated. While there are no social distancing requirements, students, faculty, and staff must wear masks indoors unless they are actively eating or drinking, teaching in the classroom, or in single-person workspaces like cubicles.

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“It’s about safety,” Kean said of the members-only rule. “We just want to make sure everything is as it’s supposed to be.”

Fall Lawnparties, which is set to take place on Sunday, Oct. 3, will not be affected under the current policy.

Several eating clubs have announced members-only nighttime events during Frosh Week, the period of time after upperclass student move-in and before the start of fall classes. Frosh Week has not occurred “normally” since 2017 due to the fall 2020 pandemic conditions, the fall 2019 ban on first-year participation, and the fall 2018 first-year ban after 28 students received medical attention during a single weekend.

In an email obtained by the ‘Prince,’ leadership of Cap and Gown Club told members to “GET EXCITED for Frosh Week Outside®!”

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Quadrangle Club posted on its Instagram page to announce its Frosh Week schedule, leading with the caveat “QUAD MEMBERS ONLY: I.C.C. POLICY.” Among Quad’s events is a reopening ceremony, a barbecue picnic, and a surf-themed party. Colonial Club advertised a similar slate of “Welcome Week” activities, including a snow cone event, a movie night with popcorn, and a barbecue. 

Additionally, several clubs have announced their plans for Fall Bicker through messages sent to residential college listservs. This year’s admissions process at the six selective clubs — Cannon Dial Elm, Cap & Gown, Cottage, Ivy, Tiger Inn, and Tower — will be single-Bicker.

Notably, Tiger Inn announced that it will hold its first-ever Fall Bicker, in recognition of what one officer called the “absolutely wack” conditions of the previous year.

In an email to Tower Club members, officers cited the members-only ICC policy and shared additional health and safety efforts for the semester to come. These included the indoor mask mandate, vaccine requirements for staff members, gloves provided for buffet-style meals, and frequent temperature checks.

“It is vital that every single member of the Tower community strictly adhere to these rules,” the email stated. “If Tower experiences any COVID outbreak this semester, we will have to shut down for at least two weeks. These rules are for the safety of our community, and are of the utmost importance as we navigate re-opening.”

Editor’s Note: This piece was updated on Sept. 1 to include information on Street-wide masking guidelines.

Evelyn Doskoch is a Head News Editor who has reported on University affairs, COVID-19 policy, student life, sexual harassment allegations, town affairs, and eating clubs. She can be reached at edoskoch@princeton.edu or on Twitter at @EvelynDoskoch.

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