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Mar.17, 2010

Vol. 110, No. 10

Taking a good idea ...

A video posted Jan. 13 on PAW’s Weekly Blog chronicled the University’s provision of snacks (kettle corn?!) and entertainment to mark Dean’s Date. I offer two observations.

The first: The Nassoons claim the invention of the practice of watching Dean’s Date runners as a form of entertainment. They did it informally while enjoying a few cold ones. It appears that the University has, as many bureaucracies do, taken a good idea, adopted it ... and ruined it.

The second: fascination that Old Nass now creates a celebration, effectively trivializing what was once a revered and feared deadline. One can’t help wonder whether this is wise practice — to say nothing of appropriating funds for it even as Princeton pleads with its alumni to dig a little deeper because of the impact that the economy has had on the endowment.

On the other hand, I have a hazy set of recollections that the University provided us with ample snacks and open bars during Freshman Week and on myriad other occasions back when legislators, plaintiffs’ attorneys, and social mores trusted undergrads in a different fashion.

Never mind. (Could it be that now that my 25th reunion has passed, I really am finding evidence that Princeton was better, way back when?)

Stephen P. Ban ’84
Glenview, Ill.

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