Editor’s Note: The Nass dispatched Ben Taub to investigate a strange trend among the freshman class. He decided to term this peculiar sociological phenomenon a “fiefdom,” alluding to its similarities with the feudal system of medieval times. This is the story of one fiefdom, known as Club 125.
Much like raunchy advertisements on adult websites, freshman fiefdoms are popping up all over campus. This is some exciting shit. Because if you try really hard, you can see how the fiefdoms’ common goal (to get girls to party in their room) manifests itself as a thinly disguised war. And if you think nothing serious can come of this, read the goddamn Illiad. That volume (especially the Fagles translation) details the frattiest war of all-time. Ten years of relentless bloodshed, boozing, and levels of intimacy between men which blur the line between friendship and homosexuality, all over one sexy, sexy woman. Here on campus there is no Trojan War, but there is most definitely a war to use the most Trojans.
Being an enraptured reader, you are aching to know what distinguishes a freshman fiefdom from a freshman quad. My conclusion: merely a (witty or shitty) room title, a general willingness to wake up in the afternoon with a headache, and the balls to entice P-Safety to your room pretty much all the time.
The phenomenon stems from a simple and primal desire: to rage. As a reaction to the brutal Princeton environment in which eating clubs exclude freshman membership, the recent-high-school-graduate-future-world-leaders proactively create an intricate social community of their own, bursting with revelry and rivalry. I had the fortune to interview the true heroes of this movement. Revolutionaries, kings, and colossal fools alike, bravely perpetuating the noblest interests of Princeton’s undergraduate population: ignoring responsibilities, ignoring academia, and ignoring girls’ feelings.
Enter Club 125, and you’re not allowed to leave until your BAC is .15. This complicated the interview. “SORRY I’M NOT SORRY”—that is the preamble to their constitution. Actually, it’s their whole constitution. They finished the preamble, and then realized there were other things to do. Other things like raging.
I wouldn’t bet on them in a fiefdom war for two reasons. The first reason is that one of them (who I nicknamed “The Jester”) passes out frequently and unapologetically on floors and toilets all over campus. I can only assume this is due to narcolepsy, poor lad. The second reason is that they have an extremely generous open-door policy, which is chill and diplomatic, but not good for waging war. They are like America circa 1910, except Club 125 doesn’t quarantine lepers offshore. If there is any historical inaccuracy in that analogy, I refuse to correct it or do the research to figure it out myself. Because Club 125 taught me to not be sorry for anything. Third, they prefer revelry to rivalry. This makes them cute and endearing, but hardly ferocious and violent.
Inspired by their lifestyle, I asked my noble hosts what specifically they are least sorry for. I didn’t get a precise answer, but here are some things I gathered over the course of the power hour. They are not sorry for summering… yes, “summer” the verb. They are especially not sorry for choosing to opt out of the recession—when they were informed last month that it exists. They are not sorry for being in frats or laxing, save for one equally unapologetic “God Damn Independent.” But above all, they are not sorry that Club 125 loves Terrace.
These men have no flag; instead, a symbol. The monocle, despite its obvious allusion to 19th-century British aristocracy, is a symbol of equality and freedom in Club 125. Any man, woman, or ape can lift his hand to his face, encircling an eye with the forefinger and thumb. But nobody can do it as photogenically as these fine gentlemen.
I love Club 125 because the following quote took place during our interview: “At one of our rage-fests, I saw a man grinding with that plastic alien. He had a halfie.” I hate Club 125 because they wouldn’t tell me where their “Fucking Yacht” was. Or fucking-yacht. It was ambiguous, and not worth clarifying due to the glorious imagery of the latter.
I plan to continue this sociological analysis of a hypothetical war between freshman fiefdoms. If they grant me an hour in their “petit monde,” my next report will be on another prominent freshman fiefdom called The Embassy, and will assess their preparedness for the war I made up in my head.