Most universities have a strip of drinking establishments where students drink to excess right out in the open.
Here, a remarkable amount of drinking happens in secret, behind the doors of an insular network of clubs that are far wilder than regular bars.
Inside these eating clubs, students who are under the legal drinking age regularly do things that would never be allowed in traditional bars.
Some have gotten so drunk they had to be hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.
Others have slipped on beer-soaked dance floors and broken their legs.
Still others have become so out of control that they have gotten into fights with police officers and bouncers.
None of the risky behavior leads to serious consequences for the clubs or the University.
In fact, the University is benefitting from the silence surrounding the eating clubs. While most students drink hard liquor during pre-games on campus, the clubs are the site from which these students get transported to the hospital. Because the clubs are officially not part of the University campus, the University is able to avoid any blame or responsibility for risky behavior in the clubs.
To peel back the veil of secrecy with which the University is surrounding Princeton’s hidden bar district, I interviewed a dozen students, club officers, and University spokespeople and reviewed hundreds of pages of police records and news articles and found a number of troubling statistics:
- In the past five years, police have been called to the clubs more than 200 times, for incidents ranging from alcohol poisoning to assault.
- Serious injuries are commonplace. Since 2013, there have been 11 reported cases in which a student, a bouncer, or a police officer got hurt in a fight. One student had his pinky amputated when his hand got caught in a club’s fire escape as he was trying to leave the club in an unconventional way.
- The clubs are the scene of bizarre and violent hazing rituals. In one club, new club members had to undress to their underwear and were showered with ketchup and mustard. In another, students were slapped on their backs until they bled.
- What happens in the clubs often stays in the clubs. The cycle of risky behavior is perpetuated by a strict code of secrecy. Members who do talk risk being ostracized.
- Incidents are documented in public records, but the University does not regularly make checks of them, preferring instead to look the other way.
Princeton administrators stress that the clubs are not part of the University and maintain that they do not regulate what happens in them.
“The clubs are independent of the University but interdependent,” said W. Rochelle Calhoun, the Vice-President for Campus Life of the University as well as the chair of the University’s Eating Club task force. She acknowledged, though, that the clubs are relying more and more on University resources such as the University’s sexual harassment advising peers.
But Calhoun also said the University rarely learns about incidents that happen in the clubs.
In 2014, for example, a drunk student officer at Tiger Inn jokingly placed another student in a headlock until he lost consciousness. The student fell to the floor on which he struck his face, injuring his nose.
“To my knowledge, that could be something we never know about,” Calhoun said, explaining that the borough police are under no obligation to make reports to the University.
Instead, Tiger Inn handled the case internally and relieved the student of her officer position.
Over the past few months, I emailed club presidents of all eleven clubs and house managers of five. One house manager agreed to an interview. One president declined to comment. The rest remained silent.
The University administration declined to give an in-person interview, giving instead a three-sentence reply explaining that eating clubs are private organizations.
In one interview, the chair of the eating clubs’ Graduate Interclub Council Tom Fleming ‘89 acknowledged problems, but defended the clubs’ safety measures, listing liability insurances, security teams, and trainings for club officers.
“There is no higher priority for the eating clubs than the health and safety of our members and guests,” Fleming said. “Not only is this essential for the well-being of our members, but it is also essential for our survival.”
Students binge-drink at many universities. But Princeton is unique in that it is largely kept secret, maintaining the University’s good reputation while exposing students to extra risks.
In an email, University spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss said that “The University’s Department of Public Safety (PSafe) maintains a strong working relationship with the Princeton Police Department that includes open communication about any serious incidents at the clubs.”
What Hotchkiss didn’t say is that many clubs ask their members not to call the police. Even in cases of severe intoxication or injury, they are supposed to call club officers for help first, which means that most incidents never get reported to the police.
“During our first sophomore dinner, the club president told us that if anything were to happen, find a club officer first and help can be better sought than by just dialing 911,” said a member of Cap and Gown Club who doesn’t want to be identified for fear of being kicked out.
This response is indicative of a system in which students fear social exclusion if a club finds out that a member has talked with non-members about what’s going on inside the club.
“We get sanctioned if we talk with non-members about what happens in the club,” he said.
Eating Clubs Are Hubs of Unsafe Behavior
In the past five years, scores of students have suffered severe injuries at the clubs.
I reviewed more than 200 pages of police reports and found that party-related injuries happen on average twice a month during the semester. Students left a club in an ambulance on 50 occasions from 2013 until now.
Many students were injured because of wet dance floors in the clubs. At Ivy Club alone there have been four reported incidents of students breaking their legs or falling on their heads because of slipping on the wet dance floor since 2013.
In other clubs, students have been hospitalized for drinking too much. On 11 occasions, students broke a bone or lost consciousness during a night out in an eating club.
And still other students were victimized by thieves among the heavy drinking. 32 students were victims of thieves who have stolen more than $19,000 worth over the past five years.
A student from the class of 2018 lost not only his balance when he tried to leave Cap and Gown Club through the fire escape. “He slipped, his hand got caught in between the iron spindles, and his pinky was amputated,” said a 2017 police report. The injury occurred even though club rules said that he wasn’t allowed to be out there. Neither the student nor Cap responded to requests for comment.
At Tiger Inn a club officer had to step down after causing a scandal in 2014. He had sent out a photo to the club’s listserv that showed a first-year female student attempting to perform oral sex on a male student, with the headline “Ivy blows, and apparently so does this Asian chick.”
At Cannon Dial Elm Club, police officers confiscated three bags of heroin in 2016. No further action was taken.
And at Colonial Club, the police were called because a student was “screaming that he was on acid and LSD. He was acting wildly and spitting at others,” said a 2017 report. He was transported to Princeton Medical Center (PMC) and later charged with being under the influence and disorderly conduct.
During initiations in one club, the new men were asked to finish a keg and then to undress. Without warning, older club members slapped new members on their backs. One student was slapped so hard, his back started bleeding.
“It was basically physical abuse,” said a student who asked not to be identified for fear of losing his membership.
The University Is Turning a Blind Eye
Princeton administrators have been careful to keep their distance from incidents like these while reaping benefits from what the clubs provide—an outlet for student stress that allows for hard drinking but does not harm the University’s reputation.
Sophomore Aleesha Ye ’20 badly sprained her ankle on a night out at Cloister Inn in September 2017. For the following weeks, she was forced to rent an expensive scooter in order to get to her classes. The University never followed up with her after the incident or offered assistance, and Aleesha learned that she isn’t the only one who was hurt at Cloister Inn.
“The amount of people who have told me they had the same experience at Cloister was insane,” Aleesha said. “People have been complaining about the mosh pit for years.”
But the University took no action.
Without close supervision, club leaders are left on their own to make questionable decisions.
They have hired bouncers who have allegedly assaulted and harassed students. A police report from 2014 showed that four of the bouncers at Tiger Inn had criminal histories ranging from aggravated assault to drug offenses. At Cap and Gown Club, security employee Ralph Williams threatened to “cut up” two non-members who tried to seek shelter from the cold in 2016, according to police records. Williams denied the allegations.
There are other signs that club leaders are not capable of keeping their fellow students safe.
Tiger Inn has a few members “on safety” on nights when the club is open to all students. Members on safety are supposed to stay sober and help other students. But instead some chug beers and become more drunk than the students they are supposed to keep an eye on.
One student on safety had to be brought to the infirmary for alcohol intoxication in 2017.
This would never happen in a traditional bar, where contracts require that bouncers and staff not drink while at work. Students on safety at The Street, however, do not have to sign such a contract.
(I have since learned that, after the 2017 incident, Tiger Inn did introduce a new rule, saying that members on safety have to stay absolutely sober. Furthermore, every student does sign a contract when they become members of Tiger Inn.)
Even though the information above was confirmed to me by several members of the Tiger Inn, I was not able to get confirmation by the previous or current president, as none of them responded to my requests for comments.
For Decades, the University Has Ignored Serious Safety Concerns at the Eating Clubs
The eating clubs are intimately linked with Princeton, but in a way that enables the University administration to escape blame for unsafe behavior that happens inside the clubs.
The first eating club, The Ivy Club, was formed by students in 1879, because the University had admitted more students than it could feed. Each club that followed was built with the University’s permission, and the University controlled how many parties could be held in a year.
More recently, the University has turned several of the eating clubs into official campus spaces after they went bankrupt, thereby acquiring a formal presence on Prospect Avenue. In 2009, the University bought Elm Club and turned it into the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding.
There are other connections.
The University both pays for each club’s wifi and provides free snow and ice removal services for the sidewalks outside the clubs.
Lawnparties, an event that happens on The Street twice a year, is organized by the University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) in close collaboration with the Princeton administration.
The University increases financial aid for upperclassmen to help them cover the cost for eating club membership.
Former president of Ivy Folasade Runcie ’18 acknowledged the connection between eating clubs and University, explaining that it keeps students safe.
“Even though eating clubs are technically private institutions, disassociated with the University, they are practically on campus and are even interspersed with buildings where some students take classes, for example Bobst Hall,” she said. “This is safer because students will not risk drunk driving and are close to their dorms meaning they don’t have to travel far in the dark after a night out.
But despite the overlap between the University and eating clubs, the University has maintained for years that the two have nothing to do with one another. Administrators have pointed to the separation every time a major drinking-related accident occurs.
And it has occurred a lot.
For the past 50 years, the clubs have been hubs of bad drinking and bad behavior. In 1987, The Associated Press wrote a story about the staggeringly high number of sixteen Princeton students who were admitted to the infirmary with alcohol intoxication and alcohol-related injuries after initiations at several eating cubs. In 1988, two club officers at Charter Club were arrested and ultimately sentenced to 30 days in jail each for having served alcohol at an event that caused 39 students to require treatment at the University infirmary. Six were taken to a local hospital and one of those six remained in a coma for 24 hours.
The University defended the students, calling the sentence “disproportionate and excessive.”
From 2000 to 2009, 13 eating club officers were arrested on charges of serving alcohol to minors, according to a 2018 article in the Daily Princetonian.
Four Tiger Inn officers resigned in 2014 after hosting a secret 21 Club party in which 21 juniors and 21 seniors had to drink 21 beers in 42 minutes each.
And in December 2017, Tiger Inn’s safety officer Divya Mehta ’18 had to step down after not hiring enough safety personnel for the club’s semi-formals. As stated in a Daily Princetonian article, this oversight led to an unsafe environment with “excessive levels of alcohol, vomiting, and physicality.”
Through it all, the University administration has been hands-off. Vice-President for Campus Life Calhoun stated: “We don’t really regulate what they’re doing in the clubs.”
Hiding Incidents from the Public
Against this permissive backdrop, students keep getting injured.
This year, due to the heavy drinking during frosh-week, the first week before the new academic year begins, all eating clubs were closed to first-years after the first night.
According to a Daily Princetonian article, 28 students were brought either to the local hospital or to the University health center during the weekend of frosh-week.
Yet there are suspiciously few police reports pertaining to this weekend.
There are no records mentioning first-year Henry Wietfeldt ’22 who was transported to the emergency room at PMC after dislocating his knee on the wet floor at Quadrangle Club on Sunday night of frosh-week. For weeks, he suffered from his injury and was forced to wear a brace.
On weekends, PSafe stations an officer on The Street, even though the clubs officially fall under the jurisdiction of the borough police. As a result, PSafe handles most calls on The Street in lieu of the town police, thereby keeping most incidents quiet from the public.
PSafe doesn’t have publicly accessible records, so it is in the interest of both the clubs and the University to have PSafe handle incidents on The Street. The Princeton Police Department, on the other hand, has to make their records public under the Open Public Records Act (which is how I accessed the police records for this article).
But officially, PSafe is not responsible for handling incidents on The Street.
“The Eating Clubs are in the Princeton Police Department’s jurisdiction, although DPS (the Department of Public Safety) will assist with intoxication and injury calls for service,” said Stephanie Karp, Director of Operations at PSafe.
The University seems to benefit from PSafe’s involvement on The Street, keeping the number of official records low.
The Veil of Secrecy Persists
There are serious safety risks on The Street. But, to the best of their abilities, it seems the student-run eating clubs are generally trying to keep students as safe as they can.
It is the University that is showing a lack of responsibility toward its students. By claiming that the clubs and the University are independent from each other, the University is able to look the other way when students are hurt on The Street.
Most of the incidents such as injuries or violent behavior that happen on The Street occur due to high levels of intoxication. But the eating clubs (with the infrequent exception of Quad’s mixed drink nights) only serve light beer and water to the general public on normal nights out.
“We do not serve any hard alcohol to anyone on a night out,” said Terrace officer Joe Collins ’20.
This suggests that most students who leave The Street in an ambulance due to alcohol poisoning get drunk with hard liquor before, at pre-games on campus.
According to a March 2018 police record, a student was found vomiting due to high intoxication at Quad. His friends said that he had drunk Everclear Vodka along with Smirnoff Vodka. The student was brought to PMC.
Yet Quad didn’t serve Vodka that night, again suggesting that most students get dangerously drunk on campus and not at The Street. Thus, it becomes impossible for the University to claim that they have nothing to do with what happens in the eating clubs.
By turning a blind eye to what happens on The Street, the University is able to evade responsibility for unsafe behavior that occurs as a result of alcohol-related social events on or immediately adjacent to University grounds.
But the University benefits from the veil of secrecy that the eating clubs surround themselves with.
I reached out to 19 former and current eating club presidents and officers in all eleven clubs, asking them to confirm that heavy drinking does not occur in the clubs. By the time of this article’s publication, only Collins ’20 was willing to give a statement. Six presidents declined comment. The rest remained silent.
The first step to keeping more students safe on The Street is for the clubs to lift their veil of secrecy and allow their members to speak publicly about the unsafe situations they witness, instead of ostracizing students who speak out.
But most importantly, the University has to acknowledge that eating clubs and University are not completely separate institutions and that most students who leave The Street in an ambulance started their night with heavy drinking right on campus grounds.
** For the sake of transparency, I think it is important to mention that I am a member of the Terrace Club. I would like to emphasize that, in my investigation, I have tried to give equal weight to each police record, disregarding my eating club affiliation.
*** This article has been edited and updated to more accurately reflect the most recent information acquired by Anna Wolcke. The photo has also been changed to be less misleading.
19 thoughts on “Behind Closed Doors: How Princeton’s Administration Is Turning a Blind Eye to Serious Safety Issues in Its Secret Bar District”
This is an important survey of a problem that continues to this day. I think it’s a bit unfair, though, to blame the clubs because the problems are largely caused by stupid students. They’re often consuming hard liquor in their own dorm rooms before heading to the clubs.
Maybe we can start prosecuting the students who end up in the hospital? If driving while intoxicated is a crime, why not generally being an idiot while intoxicated? The individuals are the ones who are ruining it for the rest of us. It’s not hard to drink a moderate amount and enjoy alcohol responsibly. I do it all of the time. So I say, “Punish the bad actors.”
Be extremely careful what you wish for. If a student’s friends fear official retribution and don’t get a drunk kid the medical treatment he needs, the situation which killed my cousin’s son (not at Princeton) could arise. He was left on a couch to sleep it off and didn’t wake up.
It’s a delicate balancing act, but threat of punishment carries its own risks.
This is an absolutely brilliant article; beautifully written. Amazing research. I can’t even imagine how much work must have gone into this!
It is so important to publish this information– the University has a responsibility to keep its student safe and is clearly using its supposed “lack of affiliation” with the Eating Clubs as an evasion tactic. Transparency is key for ensuring the clubs are better held accountable and that students are kept safe.
THANK YOU FOR FINALLY SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THIS. IT HAS HAD TO BE SAID.
This article does not make an argument that condemns eating clubs. You claim that “there are serious safety risks on The Street. But, to the best of their abilities, it seems the student-run eating clubs are generally trying to keep students as safe as they can.”
Why, then, was this article published with an unexplained photograph of the Ivy Club alongside a headline referencing “serious safety concerns?” Are you oblivious to what this insinuates? Whatever one’s criticisms are of that club, it is cowardly to seek to defame it, or any individual eating club, without even the courtesy of a direct reference. This kind of cowardly, subtle libel is more appropriate for a tabloid. Perhaps one shouldn’t be surprised, since the Nassau Weekly’s ‘newspaper magazine’ is itself little more than a faux-intellectual tabloid.
“Faux-intellectual tabloid” is unfortunately the best way to describe what this paper has become. It’s lamentable.
This article laughably insinuates that there exists a conspiracy between the eating clubs, Princeton University and the Princeton Police to facilitate an uncontrolled, shadow network of “secret” underage drinking.
1. Eating clubs, unlike fraternity houses at most other colleges, are highly regulated by their graduate boards. All eating clubs hire legitimate bouncers who DO NOT drink while at work and DO NOT serve hard alcohol (only beer from taps). Most drinking (and all consumption of hard alcohol) occurs in dorms before students go to The Street.
2. Regarding TI’s students “on safety” who “allegedly” drink on duty, you stated that “this would never happen in a traditional bar, where contracts require that bouncers and staff not drink while at work. Students on safety at The Street, however, do not have to sign such a contract.” This VERY deceptive because you’re purposely comparing TI’s students “on safety” to hired, legitimate bouncers. In actuality, all eating clubs DO have bouncers who DO NOT drink while at work, just like a traditional bar. Tiger Inn’s students “on safety” serve in addition to these legitimate bouncers, not in lieu of them. These legitimate bouncers keep order, break up fights, prevent drug use, look out for extremely intoxicated students and will call PMC if needed– exactly like bouncers at a regular bar.
3. Upon entering eating clubs like Ivy and Cottage, bouncers will check your ID and wristband guests above 21 years old. Just like a regular bar, you are marked only if you’re allowed to drink.
4. I also find your final “transparency disclaimer” about Terrace really amusing. Are you seriously trying to use a picture of Ivy to insinuate “serious safety concerns” because they hire real bouncers, ID check to wristband students over 21 years old and only serve beer? I won’t elaborate on Terrace, but please look in your “purple, green, etc.” mirror.
Glad to see the comments were taken on board and that the accompanying photo was corrected
Let’s be frank: this article is arguing for punishing the students who get drunk. It’s easy to point at the clubs and blame them, but they are already heavily regulated. Getting rid of their beer wouldn’t make much difference.
If you don’t want the university to “turn a blind eye”, that means you want the university to punish people. Who can they punish? It’s not like we can blame some weird outsider for tricking Princeton students into drinking. It’s the fault of the students.
And what kind of punishment would you suggest? Probation? Double-secret probation? At some point, the punishment needs to have some teeth. That means either monetary fines or somehow delaying graduation by kicking someone out.
Are we really open to that?
I haven’t read something this clearly biased in a long time. Throughout this article – it’s clear that the student had an idea – to demonize the eating club system because of however it affected their university life – and claims ‘research’ instead of much logic to back it up. Truly – this type of thing happens but WITHOUT the incredible safety network – psafe etc – that Princeton provides – on college campuses across America at a much more shocking rate. To pretend there is something villainous about Princeton and the eating clubs insinuates that this student has something personal against them – that’d be a more interesting article. Nothing said in this article isn’t public knowledge already to anyone at the university or really any other university – as a member of a club – I certainly don’t feel pressured in any way to not reveal what goes on.
“There are no records mentioning first-year Henry Wietfeldt ’22 who was transported to the emergency room at PMC after dislocating his knee on the wet floor at Quadrangle Club on Sunday night of frosh-week. For weeks, he suffered from his injury and was forced to wear a brace.”
Records? What point is this trying to make exactly? A student got hurt and there isn’t clerical data on the matter? (*therefore coverup conspiracy?!*)
This isn’t the only problem with this article. The level of bias and the unnecessarily charged tone of the piece is, to quote Latrice Royale, FAR TOO MUCH
“Nothing said in this article isn’t public knowledge already to anyone at the university or really any other university.”
Check your facts: in what way is this article biased? The author found and displays FACTS– important supposedly “public knowledge,” you note, and yet public knowledge that many people are unaware of.
The main point of the article. is summed up in the final sentence: “…the University has to acknowledge that eating clubs and University are not completely separate institutions and that most students who leave The Street in an ambulance started their night with heavy drinking right on campus grounds.” This is a fact that
the majority of these criticisms are. clearly
In response to. the criticism: “…it is cowardly to seek to defame it, or any individual eating club, without even the courtesy of a direct reference.” HOW is it possibly cowardly to present facts? It is quite the opposite. There are many direct references here– the author has done her journalism. You don’t like the article because it seeks to reveal truth about a series of institutions that you, a likely member of the club, benefit from, and that is threatening to your way of being. It doesn’t mean facts don’t need to be spoken.
The majority of these criticisms clearly stem from a place of wanting to uphold socially and socioeconomically exclusive institutions that the university. evidently does benefit from– in evading responsibility for student drinking, a liability most other universities face. And it is true, and I am sure all of you who claim that students only drink beer in clubs (something that has certainly not been my experience in visits to many clubs), that students do mostly get dangerously. drunk at pregames on campus, and that the university can pretend. this behavior takes place at the Eating Clubs. This isn’t a conspiracy theory: it is a clear way in which the University benefits from the existence of the Eating Clubs.
Why are you so forcefully trying to hold these institutions in unquestionably favorable lights? I encourage you critics to be more thoughtful and critical. Facts show that there is a need for valid criticism.
To the 10:13am commenter: your straw man is poorly disguised. The earlier commenter’s statement that “… it is cowardly to seek to defame it, or any individual eating club, without even the courtesy of a direct reference” was a criticism of the Nass editors’ decision to publish this article with a cover photo of the Ivy Club, thereby indirectly yet insidiously blaming Ivy for “serious safety concerns” without the courage to make that claim directly. The Nass editors recognised this mistake and changed it. Don’t misconstrue criticisms to prop up your support for the author’s vendetta.
Firstly, a TL;DR of this article. “Students get drunk at Princeton. This does not happen anywhere else and is proof that Princeton is a danger to society.”
It would appear from reading this piece that you have never been to any other college town in your entire life. If you had you would realise that Princeton is comparably extremely tame relative to almost any other equivalent institution. Might I recommend that you take a trip to Penn State or Rutgers, where people have literally died in the bars that you seem to regard as a better alternative, before you next attempt to write an article claiming that nowhere on earth is as dangerous as a Princeton eating club. I know for a fact that a plethora of the claims you made regarding several clubs initiations processes are palpably untrue and vastly overstated. It should genuinely be illegal for you to even publish writing this aggressively slanderous.
Secondly, I will ignore the blatantly directionless, confused and incorrectly credited criticism of this article, and instead focus on the UNBELIEVABLE hypocrisy that overbears this entire piece. You are literally a paying member of Terrace Club! It doesn’t surprise me much that you initially left that point out of the article and then, when forced to edit it in, did so only right at the end of the piece. If you truly believe eating clubs are the hub of all evil, why did you pay $$$$s to join one??? Let alone the only club on campus which is unanimously reputed across campus to essentially be a paying drug den! It’s like this is intended to be some kind of parody. This is the equivalent of writing an article criticising Donald Trumps racist narrative and then making a multiple thousand dollar donation to the KKK. This proves to all of us that you don’t actually believe any of the drivel you put out in this article, but just want to be able to put “journalist/reporter” on your resume as experience when you apply to Goldman next year. Terrace is the most heavily drug-involved, psychedelic, unhealthy and potentially dangerous club on the street. In the times I have been there, you can’t get past the stairs without someone offering you a hit. You are just another Princeton student who loves the sound of their own voice but doesn’t actually work to address any of the problems they claim to so vehemently oppose. Surely you would rather disassociate yourself with this apparently disgraceful system, than pay to be a part of said system’s most exemplary manifestation?
Finally, one of your idiot friends falling over on a wet floor and spraining their ankle is no-one’s fault but their own. This is not proof of clubs being “hubs of unsafe behaviour”, it is proof of uncoordinated Princeton students not having the real world maturity to self regulate their alcohol consumption. None of these students were forced to go to these clubs, none of them were forced to drink. Their injuries are entirely the result of conscious decisions they chose to make and will continue to make, without influence from any club. If you are too un-athletic to stay on your feet don’t get drunk and then head for the centre of the dance-floor. I think you would find the number of people who slip and injure themselves walking down Washington in the winter far higher than the Cloister dance-floor, should we red tape Washington and mark it as proof of a broken Princeton system too?
I don’t care very much at all about eating clubs or Princeton, but the blatant hypocrisy, mis-information, unwarranted and unsubstantiated extrapolation, slander and vacuity of logic evident in this article makes it absolutely infuriating and a shining bastion for the obsolescence of Princeton’s student newspapers, that this was allowed to be published.
Damn…you guys really do love these clubs. They can stay, but they need to change.
You can’t hold an eating club responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole system of student associations? And if the whole system of student associations is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? Isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but I for one am not going to stand here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.
Interesting commentary – like the Animal House reference. Enough has been said about Terrace and its own problems, so I’d like to focus on one major point in the article: Princeton does nothing about major pre-gaming on campus. Other campuses, including party schools like BC, etc., charge RAs with overseeing dorm-room parties. RAs frequently shut down out-of-hand events and take alcohol away from underaged drinkers. Princeton has always had a hands-off policy. They’ll take your hot plate away, but not the bottle of gin next to it. They offload this problem to the clubs, then fake complain about them, realizing that the alternative — kids driving drunk back from bars — or being on the road late at night with a sober driver like those poor College of NJ kids — is much more terrible. This problem has gotten way worse since the drinking age was raised to 21. The solution: all college presidents should stop being such cowards and call for the drinking age to be dropped to 19 again — old enough to still keep most high school students from legally purchasing alcohol, young enough to bring drinking out of the shadows and curb binge drinking. College students should join this effort — old enough to marry, be drafted, charged as an adult for a crime — old enough to drink and take responsibility for your actions while doing so. The clubs do the best they can — bouncers, officer training, wristbands — but the problem is the drinking age.
A lot of hit dogs hollering in the comments. It’s a good article, sorry some of you feel so offended
The author’s statement of transparency about her association with Terrace is hilarious. As a current student, I find it surprising that she cites all these drinking related incidents at other clubs, yet there’s no mention of other risky activities that go on in her own club. Furthermore, hand picking police reports from the past *50* years is also not a convincing argument. 50 years is a long time, and this IS a college campus. Accidents like the Cap fire escape incident could happen anywhere. Slipping on the dance floor is a hazard that you should be aware of if you go out anywhere. You can’t blame eating clubs as a whole for this.
This is not a convincing article. The University isn’t ‘colluding’ to hide incidents. Patient privacy is a thing – and other reports, clearly, are publicly available. In my experience, Psafe will come to assist students to ensure their safety when requested – and that’s what matters. If you want to address high risk drinking, address the student pregames that occur on campus where high risk drinking occurs.