Follow us on Instagram
Try our daily mini crossword
Play our latest news quiz
Download our new app on iOS/Android!

Reactions: To bicker or not to bicker?

Green street sign against blue sky. The sign reads “Prospect Ave.”
Prospect Street Sign
Candace Do / The Daily Princetonian

1,193 sophomores,  80 percent of the Class of 2026,  participated in this year’s Street Week, with 66 percent double-bickering. As in years past, Bicker and its merits were a source of contention among the student body. We asked our columnists to reflect on Street Week 2024 and Bicker, more generally.

For the next round of Bicker, ditch the ICC mechanism


By Christopher Lidard, Technology Columnist

Algorithms don’t care about you — through the most recent iteration of Bicker, countless members of the Class of 2026 have felt the implications of that fact. With the most recent troubles with the ICC website’s automation of the eating club invitation system, what was originally invented to simplify the convoluted process of club admission and bickeree preferences has unnecessarily gamified the Bicker process and left bickering only as a backup to selective sign-in. 

Rather than a human-centered process that can create leeway for special circumstances or catch errors, the ICC Bicker system puts club placement in the hands of error-prone and unaccountable spreadsheet acrobatics. With unpredicted design flaws, such as the inability to handle the Friday morning traffic surge or arbitrarily requiring only two sign-in clubs to be ranked, the automated process brings much more harm than good and needs to be thoroughly reevaluated, if not overthrown.

Prospect Avenue and members of the ICC should reevaluate its usage of such an opaque and fallible program. Moving towards a manual club admission system, where invitations are not algorithmically arbitrated, would be one of the first steps to redeeming the Bicker process from its inaccuracies.

Christopher Lidard is a Technology Columnist, a junior majoring in Computer Science with a policy emphasis, and a member of Terrace Club. He can be reached at

Having an “in” doesn’t always make bicker easier


By Sarah Park, Contributing Columnist

Bicker, as a selective process, is inherently and inevitably biased. For some, however, that comes as a relief. Many students spend their time in the same clubs, on the same sports teams, or part of Greek life leading up to the time they bicker. Surrounded by similar people, potentially part of the same few eating clubs, underclass students naturally want to end up in the same eating club as their peers. 

However, when expectations fall short of reality, the emotional stress of Bicker can be all the more taxing for students who are a member of these groups. The idea of being hosed when getting into a club felt like a given can feel like rejection from the people closest to you, even when others say otherwise. The perceived social isolation of not being at the same level or as well-liked as peers can be worse for students who were accustomed to a tightly-knit, well-connected community in their college experience thus far. 

But ultimately, what Courtney Harrison ’26 says remains true: “Social standing doesn’t speak to how you are as a person and your character … What’s important in being at this university and at any university is choosing people that really see you as you generally are.” 

Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

Sarah Park is a first-year intending to pursue a major in Comparative Literature. She is from Manila, Philippines, and can be reached at

With a growing student body, Bicker makes more and more sense.

By Christofer Robles, Community Opinion Editor

Princeton sophomores want to bicker, that much is clear. But littered in this paper, you will find opinions that call for abolishing and ending Bicker, suggesting their cultures are merely “defined by who they exclude.” Such indictments are not wholly unfounded: Bicker has been used by some as a vehicle for classism and antisemitism. But are a majority of today’s sophomores who participate in Street Week just morally bankrupt? Of course not. 

The Class of 2026 was the first class admitted under the University’s plan of a four-year expansion of undergraduate enrollment. And as evidenced by their interest in eating clubs, many of these Princeton students want to join a culled community of peers, whether or not that is a Bicker or a sign-in club. This growing student body interested in eating clubs necessitates a strong commitment to a better Bicker that is defined by who it includes.

Every club on Prospect has an identity — Bicker just makes that identity intentional. With so many more students on Princeton’s campus, it is ever more important that clubs have the agency to choose who defines theirs. Rather than relying on games weaponizing free-time — like that of Charter’s selective sign-in — or filling up spots with students who may form internal cliques, anyway, Bicker allows its members to meet, converse, and engage with interested bickerees. Ultimately, Bicker allows for informed decisions and rejections that protect the well-being of the club’s members. So, while Bicker may have a troubled past and sign-in clubs are here to stay, its detractors cannot discount Bicker’s informed narrowing down of an ever-growing pool of interested sophomores.

Christofer Robles is the Community Opinion editor and is a member of the illustrious Cap & Gown Club. He can be reached at or cdjrobles on X.

It’s time to bicker—but maybe not for 18 hours

By Siyeon Lee, Assistant Opinion Editor

What can a Princeton student accomplish in 18 hours of their life? Conduct a striking experiment on the unexplored areas of quantum physics or write a deeply introspective paper on 19th century philosophy, perhaps? How about spending every second of it on the streets of Prospect Avenue, all for the slim chance of bickering into one of Princeton’s 11 eating clubs?

Apart from the plethora of issues Princeton’s Bicker system carries — from the elitist gamification of social life to allegations of classist elitism — we need to reflect on the suffocating amount of time a prospective member must invest into showing interest for a club. The most recent iteration of Bicker at Ivy, for example, where each prospective member must interview with 10 of its members, involved over six three-hour time slots spanning through the week. This obviously doesn’t mean that every prospective member attended all six of Ivy’s possible Bicker sessions, but considering the abundance of other Street Week events of similar lengths, 10 conversations at one club can be more than burdensome.

When one of the most pressing concerns that pervade Princeton’s campus is the stress and rigor that debilitates its students’ mental health, the last thing that should take up a crippling portion of their weekday is a Bicker activity. This is not to say that those said activities are unimportant — but rather, that they need to be structured with more caution, efficiency, and intention throughout a longer span of time.

With better management of their time-consuming Bicker process, eating clubs have the potential to build meaningful, reparative, and tight-knit communities all bound by a shared camaraderie. Let’s not make it more taxing of an activity than it needs to be.

Siyeon Lee is a first-year from Seoul, South Korea intending to major in History. She is an assistant Opinion editor at the ‘Prince’ and can be reached at, or @siyeonish on Instagram.

Cloister remains unsinkable… for now

By Wynne Conger, Associate Opinion Editor

At long last, the much-awaited confirmation has arrived: Cloister’s doors will remain open due to a successful Bicker season, advertising streak, and a remarkably lucrative fundraising campaign. However, members should not ease up just yet: in order to ensure the continued survival of Prospect Avenue’s smallest eating club, Cloister must continue to pursue rigorous efforts to rebrand the club as a desirable location for new members in the long run.

Luckily, the concerns of Cloister’s upperclass students were assuaged. The effective recruitment of 103 new members has been a relief for many: members accredit this success both in part to “unprecedented show of [financial] support” and a strong advertising push. The club reportedly exerted great efforts to promote Cloister’s reputation as a “wholesome friend group,” while simultaneously disassociating from its historical reputation of being “an old boys club … for ‘floaters and boaters.’” 

However, Cloister isn’t out of the woods just yet. Not only is the club no stranger to risks of dissolution, but many of the newly recruited members did not rank Cloister as their top choice. Although many of the current members remain unperturbed by the state of the club, the threat of going underwater remains present. In order to maintain membership levels, sustain the legacy of the club, and alleviate the concerns of underclass students, Cloister must persist in rebranding its current image and reviving the club as a sought-after Street Week stop. 

Wynne Conger is a first-year and prospective SPIA major from Bryn Mawr, Pa. She is an associate Opinion editor and can be reached by email at