The Princeton Interclub Council (ICC) hosted a Conversation on Diversity, Inclusion and the Eating Clubs on February 28, 2016 at the Cap and Gown Club. The five major topics discussed were club demographics, socioeconomics, public perception of the clubs, admissions processes, and attrition. Attendees discussed these subjects and brainstormed potential solutions in small groups that included ICC representatives, and the small groups shared what they discussed with the larger group. The conversation ended with a general question and answer session, where all participants were able to pose questions and bring up additional comments to for all attendees to discuss.
The ICC debriefed about the conversation at its subsequent meeting, and some of the following recommendations from the event were discussed as potential action items for the ICC to work on over the next year included:
• Have more events during the day open to freshmen and sophomores to increase accessibility.
• Look into the feasibility of having RCAs and/or ICC representatives speak to freshman about eating clubs and their place in Princeton social life during orientation.
• Offer more information regarding financial aid options.
• As per The Daily Princetonian Editorial Board’s recommendation: ensure students are aware of financial obligations by putting sophomore and upperclass club dues on the ICC admissions website and require acknowledgment of financial terms when students register to join a club.
• Provide better explanations from selective club presidents during panels to clarify the bicker process.
• Have more interclub events.
• Collaborate with student groups to host their events at the clubs.
• Implement an eating club exit survey for students who decide to drop their club membership. This survey would give students an opportunity to provide feedback regarding their club experience, provide information on the causes of member attrition and potential improvements that can be made to the club membership experience.
The Conversation on Diversity, Inclusion and the Eating Clubs was sponsored by the ICC with the support of ICC Advisor Spencer Jones ’12, GICC Advisor Lisa Schmucki ’74, GICC Chair Tom Fleming ’69, Vice President of Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun, Associate Dean of Undergradute Students Bryant Blount ’08, and Executive Director for Planning and Administration Christopher Burkmar ’00. Newly elected ICC President Samuel Smiddy ’17 will continue working on this initiative during his term.