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Sept. 22, 2010

Vol. 111, No. 1

Preparing for the real world

In response to: New selection process proposed for clubs

Published on September 22, 2010

I recently joined a golf club that was not my first choice. I chalked this up to “that’s life.” I did not feel “hosed” nor find the application process (not dissimilar to bicker) “cruel.” In fact, I have made friends with people I otherwise would not have met.

This experience led me to reflect on the report of the Eating Club Task Force. The panel proposes to replace bicker with a computer-matching system, which I find incredibly naive. I have always thought that one of the goals of a Princeton education was to prepare ­students for the real world. And bicker, with all its flaws, is one component of this preparation. The panel’s recommendation flies in the face of freedom of association, a concept pounded into my head in courses at Princeton. It reinforces a sense of entitlement. I am reminded of students criticizing Princeton’s grade-deflation policy, believing they should receive an “A” for less than superior work. As Mick Jagger sang, “You can’t always get what you want ... ”

Ned Elliott ’62
San Francisco, Calif.

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