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New Initiatives by the Princeton Eating Clubs

The clubs presented their annual reports to the Princeton Prospect Foundation in February 2018.  The reports detailed a wide variety of impressive new initiatives spearheaded by the clubs, read on to learn more about them below.

Sustainability

Sustainability and decreasing the environmental impact of the clubs is the central focus of many new initiatives of the University’s eating clubs. This is evident through the students’ monthly “Greening the Street” meetings, where representatives from all eating clubs discuss and support each other’s sustainability initiatives. The clubs are thinking long term about their energy use; Tiger Inn has installed motion activated lights, Tower is planning a comprehensive energy audit this Spring in conjunction with ENE202: Designing Sustainable Systems, and Ivy is working on plans to implement a metric-based program to reduce food-waste and electric usage.

Many clubs have transitioned to biodegradable or reusable cups, mugs, straws and takeout containers to reduce or eliminate plastic and Styrofoam consumption (Cannon Dial Elm, Cap and Gown, Colonial, Tiger Inn, Tower). Enterprising clubs have successfully promoted using club-branded reusable thermoses rather than disposable coffee cups (Cannon Dial Elm, Cloister, Cap and Gown), and some kitchen staffs now wash all reusable water bottles and thermoses to further encourage their use (Cannon Dial Elm, Tower).

For any remaining plastic, clubs are exceptionally vigilant recyclers, using designated recycling bins (Cannon Dial Elm) and locally-based, alumni-founded Terracycle to properly recycle plastic cups (Cloister, Colonial, Cap and Gown, Tower). Many clubs are reinvigorating composting programs (Charter, Quad, Tiger Inn, Tower), Cloister Inn is offering more sustainable food options including a vegetarian menu, Quad is working with the University’s Botany Club to bring life back to its greenhouse, and Cap and Gown sends out a fact-of-the-week email to remind members of the benefits of green-friendly living.


Education + Technology

There are concerted efforts to improve study spaces by adding cell phone and computer charging stations (Quad), and installing new PawPrint printers (Quad, Tiger Inn). Many clubs have University precept sections using their meeting spaces and are improving these spaces to be even more accessible for educators (Cannon Dial Elm, Tower). Cannon Dial Elm also allows members to use their conference room for Skype and phone interviews with professionals around the world and hosts weekly bible study with Princeton Faith and Action.

Academic enrichment continues at mealtimes with clubs offering weekly language tables in languages including Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese (Colonial, Quad), and Colonial collaborates with the Chinese department to host different professors at their Chinese table each week. Clubs also host professor roundtables, dinner series, and take your professor to dinner evenings (Colonial, Ivy, Tower).

In other new initiatives, Quad has started a club-wide class spreadsheet for members to facilitate study groups, while Terrace has begun a reading and art group for members to discuss poetry and collaborate on art projects. Tower is now requiring their officers and bicker committee attend sexual harassment awareness (SHARE) workshops and Terrace has started a historiography project to create a digitized archive of their fire.


Accessibility

Terrace has made strides towards making their club accessible with expanding financial aid options by allowing members to do work exchange to cover the costs of their dues. They currently employ 40 of their student members with jobs checking meal tickets and serving and cooking food. They further employ Princeton students and alumni by booking them as student performers for tap nights.


Community Relations

Clubs are building bridges to the larger University community by opening their doors as a meeting, study, or performance venue, regardless of club affiliation (Cannon Dial Elm, Quad, Tower, Terrace). The clubs have also helped coordinate an ESL program and curriculum for their staff members who are not native English speakers (Ivy) and Tower now allows members to promote their own service projects through the Tower listserv.

Off campus, Cannon Dial Elm began a community service initiative volunteering in Trenton prisons to help inmates build resumes and practice interview strategies to ease the transition after prison.

This year there were many impressive fundraising efforts for organizations outside of the University through annual events such as Truck Fest Trick-or-Feed. Of note were the funds raised for the medical bills of a Terrace kitchen staff member who was pushed out of a window, medical bills of a Quad club member who passed away from cancer, and a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of Charter’s Head of Security who also recently passed.


Alumni Relations

Clubs are working harder than ever to maintain relationships with their alumni and keep their members involved after graduation. Many clubs are implementing career panels, monthly talks, and mentorship programs to connect alumni and current members (Cannon Dial Elm, Colonial, Quad).

Quad has partnered with the Princeton Area Alumni Association for members to take part in monthly talks sharing their research in STEM fields. Charter launched a new website as a centralized platform for members and is working to completely redesign their alumni website to foster better connectivity throughout generations of Charter members.

 

You can find the clubs’ individual reports to the Foundation on their pages here:

Above Image: Club presidents who are members of the Interclub Council (ICC), with ICC Advisors.