Initially encouraged to see that students have taken initiative on a referendum to end bicker, I am disheartened by student attitudes as described in “Referendum on Bicker” (On the Campus, April 1; update, page 24). That Princeton students can’t see the bigger picture in the problematic nature of a system where students are judging their peers in an institutional social context disappoints me. Reading that many students believe that the initiative is the work of “a bunch of people who are sad because they got hosed” brings back vivid memories of the exclusivity of the bicker process (in which I deliberately did not participate).
It saddens me that many Princeton students haven’t progressed in their thinking in the 25 years since I graduated. The bicker process is largely what gives Princeton a continued reputation as old-school and elitist. While I know that’s not what the University is or represents, bicker is a visible and tangible product of old-fashioned thinking that begs modern evaluation. I commend the proponents of the referendum and hope the discussion is elevated above the priority of “foster[ing] a community of people with similar interests.”