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The eating clubs offer juniors and seniors the opportunity to become a part of a close-knit community. They reinforce existing friendships while also introducing you to a wonderful, new, and diverse group of Princetonians. The clubs offer a home on campus where students can come together to enjoy a great meal, take a breath to relax, and develop life-long

Hannah Paynter ’19, President of the Interclub Council, President of Cloister Inn

You join the club because your friends are there, but then by the time you graduate you’ve also made dozens of new great friends for the rest of your life.

Liam Morton '02, Cap and Gown Club

Each of Princeton’s clubs is different and through the years has achieved a distinct personality and set of traditions. This is as it should be, for it will be a sorry day for the world if ever such distinctions and peculiarities, and the especial loyalties they invoke, are lost.

Struthers Burt, Class of 1904

By joining an eating club, I’ve gained a sense of home and community that keeps me grounded on campus. I’m incredibly grateful for the life-long friendships I’ve developed and the many opportunities it has given me to grow my community and enrich my Princeton experience.

Rachel Macaulay ’19, President of Tower Club

Eating clubs serve as the perfect bridge between your underclassman and upperclassman years. They reinforce the strong friendships you've established and encourage new relationships with a diverse new group of people. By spending time talking, eating, studying, and socializing, we find that we are surrounded by some of the most brilliant yet modest and talented yet compassionate people, all from incredibly diverse backgrounds with a wide range of different life experiences and stories to share.

Katrina Maxcy '14, Former President of Colonial Club

The eating clubs are so much more than where 70 percent of Princeton juniors and seniors take their meals. They are where students are studying, collaborating on assignments, and encouraging each other as they write the last page of that junior paper or senior thesis. They are where students are coming together at tables to discuss an interesting news story, a great movie someone has seen recently, a campus issue, or any of a cornucopia of possible topics. They are where students are socializing and celebrating the end of a stressful day or a stressful week at high-quality social events. They are where students are engaging in meaningful service to the community outside of the Orange Bubble. The eating clubs are unique to Princeton, and they exemplify what is unique about Princeton — a sense of always being able to come home, whether you're just joining as a sophomore or are coming for your 50th Reunion.

Jean-Carlos Arenas '16, Former President of the Interclub Council, Former President of Charter Club

Eating clubs are places in which to find a home on campus. More than just a building to socialize in, they exist to create that feeling of family and acceptance – somewhere where you’re free to just be yourself, and relax into a community that accepts and loves you for you. Being in an eating club allows you to meet so many great people that otherwise you might never have met – people from backgrounds and cultures that differ greatly from your own, but who will nonetheless become some of your closest friends on campus. Being a part of one of these groups enables you to have a community that will always be yours, and that you will continue to be a part of long after you graduate. I find that in my own experience, I am constantly and unerringly amazed by the people I have met through my club, and by the sheer kindness with which everyone treats one another. I wouldn’t trade my eating club experience for anything in the world.

Conor O’Brien ’19, President of Charter Club

ICC Results on New Eating Club Admissions Process

The ICC released results from the new eating club admissions process that was implemented to help students navigate the variety of options available to them through the Princeton Eating Clubs. The process centered around a new Eating Club Admissions Website that synchronizes the process of joining an eating club for all interested students and for the clubs as well.

The goals of the new process were to:

  • Synchronize the process for all clubs through the development of a new website.
  • Provide more information about the clubs to encourage more students to explore the clubs.
  • Provide a multi-club option for selective clubs.
  • Decrease the stress surrounding the process and provide a more positive experience for all students.

All eleven clubs participated in the new process including 7 selective clubs (Cannon Club, Cap and Gown Club, Charter Club, Cottage Club, Ivy Club, Tower Club, and Tiger Inn) and 4 open clubs (Terrace Club, Colonial Club, Quadrangle Club, and Cloister Inn).

The ICC looked at data for students joining clubs over the past 5 years.  In previous years there were 5 selective and 5 open clubs.  This year Cannon participated in the spring admissions process for the first time.  Cannon held it’s initial bicker process in the fall of 2011.  This year Charter Club redefined itself from an open to a selective club because it uses a point system that gives students credit for how frequently they attend Charter activities.

Here is a summary of the results:

  • 1,058 or 81% of the entire sophomore class registered on the new ICC website and completed the admissions process, which is an increase over the 973 or 75% of sophomores who registered to join a club last spring.
  • 25% of those who participated took advantage of the early admission option for open clubs, and 75% participated in the regular admission process which included all clubs except Terrace Club, which filled up in the early admission stage.
  • 18% of students who opted to bicker at a selective club that offered the new multi-club option selected 2 clubs.
  • 73% of sophomores who attempted to join a selective club were admitted, compared with 64% last year.
  • By the end of the process, 947 sophomores were placed in a club vs. 894 last year – an increase of 53 students.

Tom Fleming ’69, the Chair of the GICC, commented, “The GICC commends the work of the ICC, who devised a process that met the broad objectives established by the Eating Club Steering Committee and the needs of all eleven clubs.  The ICC worked closely with the GICC Advisor, the ICC Advisor, and Inforest Communications to create a website that worked nearly flawlessly the first time that it was used.  We have not completely realized our long-term goals for improving the process for all students, but we have made a significant first step and are committed to seeking broad feedback in order to make further improvements for the benefit of the University and the Street.”

Alec Egan ’13, the outgoing President of the ICC, added,”The ICC is proud of the changes that were made to the admissions process this year, but this is by no means the end product. We will continue to make the eating clubs, and the greater Princeton community, a more open and accepting environment.”

Connor Cleg ’14, the newly elected President of the ICC will be taking over the leadership of the admissions reform effort for the ICC.  He added, “The ICC is excited to continue the discussion on how best to improve the club admissions process.  These initiatives will continue to be aimed at advancing the interests of both the clubs and students involved.  We look forward to building on the changes that Alec and the past presidents set in motion.”

The ICC worked in cooperation with Princeton University and the GICC (Graduate Interclub Council) on these reform initiatives with the hope that sophomores will have more opportunity to learn about club options, expand the number of clubs they consider joining, and have a more positive eating club experience.