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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

The InterClub Council Responds to the University Task Force Report

The Inter Club Council (ICC) is greatly encouraged to see that the Task Force Report recommendations are aligned with the actions both in progress and already taken by the ICC (Interclub Council) over the past few years. Our shared goal is to help the clubs be as safe, accessible, and welcoming to as many members of the Princeton community as possible. The major themes of the
report are, at a high level, consistent with the initiatives the ICC has put at the forefront of its agenda as it becomes increasingly involved in shaping the club experience and student experience.

Concerning Diversity, Inclusion, and Community, the ICC is enthusiastic about working with the University on how to best cultivate spaces that are conducive to hosting diverse and vibrant communities. A major part of creating this atmosphere is a focus on safety. Our approach thus far has centered around our Best Practices Matrix, in which presidents from 2015 to 2018 have worked closely with other student leaders, the SHARE Office, and UHS to produce a written set of guidelines that better ensure the safety and well-being of our members and guests. We have established an undergraduate SHARE Liaison who attends monthly ICC meetings to guide us with related topics. Another result of this work is that now every single club on the Street holds full membership SHARE and UHS trainings in the fall from September to November, along with a training session for new members in the spring.

With regards to the process by which these new members explore and join a club, the current senior-class presidents have worked extensively over six months to develop major changes, including full street open houses during the day, language alterations to club marketing, more cohesive structuring and timeline of club events during club admissions, and changes to the preference window and process in which students will now rank all the sign-in clubs in addition to any selective clubs bickered. In a time of so much change, the ICC has been working to be as transparent as possible by communicating through the channels we have access to: residential college email lists, collaboration with USG, newly-created Instagram and Facebook pages, and casual Q&A sessions at Late Meal in the Frist Campus Center and SIFP-specific outreach.

And finally, regarding costs of membership, the ICC is currently investigating what options exist regarding institutionalized financial aid. We hope to continue partnering with the University on demystifying the relationship between financial aid and eating club membership costs to better inform interested sophomores that have financial concerns. As the demographics of the University change and the student population grows, we look forward to working with the University to create a dining ecosystem in which no student feels financially excluded from the great community club life has to offer. While limited in our options of what the ICC can do in isolation, we will continue to work hard to find the means to support eating club members and our admissions process will continue to be need-blind. However, we acknowledge that there is still quite a way to go here, and we will only be able to move forward via collaboration.

Looking ahead, the ICC believes that many of the major recommendations of the Task Force Report should never be marked as “Done” or finished because with the turnover of club presidents and different ICC Advisers, as well as with the evolution of Princeton, these actions should constantly be revisited and progress re-evaluated. For instance, fair and full communication about clubs is a charge that must be led with crisp intention every year. Information has to be updated, sources have to be distributed to every new class of sophomores, and marketing has to be clear and appropriate for the given social climate of the student body. Other recommendations require further examination and possibly need re-contextualizing, such as the choice to single out Greek life. It is unsuitable to discuss a single caveat of affiliations in club admissions without addressing affiliations as a whole (i.e. sports teams, clubs, etc). Princeton students pride themselves in the work they do in extracurricular activities and the leadership in every club is committed to developing a welcoming and diverse community of people in their memberships. It is the intention of no president to use specific affiliations as feeders to the clubs.

The Task Force Report and its recommendations will be an irreplaceable set of guidelines for our ICC and for the cohorts yet to come, and for that reason the ICC enthusiastically supports the report’s contents. The actions it proposes are fully in line with the goals of and actions taken thus far by the ICC. We are excited to continue to work with the University and other partners to improve the club experience and to make that experience available to anyone who would want to be a part of it.

Hannah Paynter; ICC Chair, Cloister Inn President
Rachel Macaulay; ICC Co-Chair, Tower Club President
Julia Haney; Cannon Dial Elm Club President
RJ Hernandez; Cap and Gown Club President
Conor O’Brien; Charter Club President
Kimberly Peterson; Colonial Club President
Casey Swezey; Cottage Club President
Mimi Asom; Ivy Club President
Sarah Spergel; Quadrangle Club President
Elizabeth Yu; Terrace F. Inn President
Maggie McCallister; Tiger Inn President

For more information contact ICC Chair Hannah Paynter at

GICC (Graduate Interclub Council) members who participated on the Task Force also commented on the release of the report as follows:

Angelica Pedraza ’12, Secretary of the GICC, Graduate Board Chair of Colonial Club commented, “As a first generation, low-income college student, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join Colonial Club my junior year at Princeton. My Colonial Club membership proved integral to my undergraduate experience. The welcoming, supportive, and inclusive community that Colonial provided meant that the Club became a home away from home for me on campus, and the friends I made in Colonial were, and still are, like a second family to me. Through the work of the Task Force, and the ongoing relationship between the University and the Eating Clubs, my hope is that the University and the Eating Clubs will consistently reevaluate their policies and practices so that all Princeton students, regardless of income and background, will continue to have the opportunity to choose the dining and social options that best enhance their Princeton experience.”

Tom Fleming ‘69, Chairman of the GICC, Graduate Board Chair of Cap and Gown, commented, “The GICC strongly supports the Vision and Guiding Principles put forth in the report, and we are pleased that the ICC is already moving forward with specific steps to help achieve them. Student satisfaction data collected over the years has consistently shown a strong correlation between eating club membership and high satisfaction with the undergraduate experience. More work is needed to prevent unintended consequences of certain university policies that incentivize students to choose less nutritious and less supportive options, rather than opting for the right dining and social choice based on the experience offered. It would be tragic if students from low income backgrounds that the university is so justifiably proud of attracting to Princeton are deprived of opportunities enjoyed by generations of Princeton students.”

For more information contact GICC Chair Tom Fleming at