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Princeton Interclub Council (ICC) issues statement calling for best practices to ensure a safe and respectful environment at all of the eating clubs

Princeton, NJ – January 22, 2015 – The Princeton Interclub Council (ICC) has released a statement to the Princeton University community that reaffirms its commitment to “advancing a widespread culture of equality and safety within the eating clubs” and pledges “to make the values of student safety and respect our highest priority” in welcoming new members. The statement was drafted and supported by the presidents of all eleven of Princeton’s eating clubs. The following is the official statement of the ICC:

“The Princeton Interclub Council (ICC) is comprised of the undergraduate presidents of each of Princeton’s eleven eating clubs. Our council is designed to foster ongoing collaboration between club leadership that results in a positive contribution to the experience of both club members and the broader Princeton community. Although the content of this continual dialogue may vary, no objective has ever been or will ever be more important to the ICC than maintaining a climate of safety and respect within each of Princeton’s eating clubs. In working toward this value, the current ICC and our predecessors have made deliberate efforts toward the growth of a sustainable culture that recognizes the right of every participant to an experience free from all forms of harm and discrimination.

As the spring semester approaches, we as a council have rededicated ourselves to the evaluation, improvement, and implementation of best practices within our clubs. These shared practices are intended to establish, with the help of our fellow students, a club atmosphere that promotes the values consistent with a progressive and responsible shared community. In working to offer our members and our guests an experience of respect and safety, we hope to preserve the eating club system as a special institution within an already exceptional Princeton experience.

Over the course of the past year, various clubs have worked toward promoting student safety and respect in the following ways and others:

  • The establishment of a dedicated liaison in each club to SHARE, the campus organization that provides resources as well as advising and education services on matters of sexual harassment and assault.
  • The offering of SHARE’s interpersonal violence bystander intervention training to club officers and members
  • The formulation and constant evaluation of official club policies for maintaining a safe and comfortable environment at all events
  • The prioritization of reviewing and formalizing policies on interpersonal violence in meetings with each club’s executive board.

We see these efforts as being of vital importance to the maintenance of a safe club environment, and the ICC is committed to advancing a widespread culture of equality and safety within the eating clubs for our alumni, students, and future members. As we move toward the process of welcoming new members to each of our clubs, the ICC has jointly pledged to hold the values of student safety and respect in the highest priority. With this in mind, we wish each member of the Princeton community a healthy and enjoyable start to the spring semester.”

The statement is signed and supported by:

  • Joe Margolies, President, Interclub Council
  • Connor Kelley, President, Cannon Dial Elm Club
  • Bo Peard, President, Cap & Gown Club
  • JC Arenas, President, Charter Club
  • Ed Walker, President, Cloister Inn
  • Swetha Doppalapudi, President, Colonial Club
  • Will Hicks, President, Cottage Club
  • Nick Martin, President, Ivy Club
  • Mitch Shellman, President, Quadrangle Club
  • Lucia Perasso, President, Terrace Club
  • Oliver Bennett, President, Tiger Inn
  • John Whelchel, President, Tower Club

In response to the release of this statement, Cynthia Cherrey, Princeton University’s Vice President for Campus Life, provided the following comment, “I want to commend the ICC and the undergraduate presidents of the eleven eating clubs for strongly reaffirming their commitments to maintaining a climate of safety and respect within each of the clubs and sustaining a culture that recognizes the right of every participant to an experience free from all forms of harm and discrimination. Recent incidents have reminded all of us of the importance of making sure that policies and practices are in place to encourage appropriate and respectful treatment of all students, to address issues related to sexual harassment and assault, and to encourage timely intervention when students witness behaviors that may place other students at risk. I appreciate the leadership of these students and the support of their graduate boards in making the values of student safety and respect their highest priority.”

Tom Fleming, Jr. ’69, the Chairman of the GICC (Graduate Inter-Club Council), also released his comments on the collaborative efforts of all of the club presidents on this issue, “At the beginning of the year, the GICC established as its primary objective insuring that the eating clubs maintain a safe and respectful climate for all students. We are delighted that through outstanding student leadership there has been significant progress in this critical area. This result is another example of the benefits of the strong partnership that exists among the undergraduate officers and graduate boards of the eating clubs and the university.”

 

For additional information, please contact Joe Margolies, President of the ICC, at jhmargol@princeton.edu.