Elitism is a fact of human society. There will always be people who get great satisfaction from being a member of an elite group.  

The problem for a university community comes when a formalized elite group becomes such a significant percentage of the total group that it creates a kind of caste system. If the elite social organizations represent a very small section of the community, as I believe they do at Harvard and Yale, the other students and prospective students don’t give them much thought.

However, if the elite group represents a third of the population, that group becomes a class that everyone is aware of, both inside and outside the institution. As a Princeton sophomore you face the difficult decision of trying to make it into one of the five selective clubs, or of accepting a role as a member of a “lower” social caste. Even if you make it into the elite group, the process leaves a bad taste in your mouth, especially if you have to abandon your friends in the process. It can make you question whether Princeton was the right choice for you in the first place.

In my opinion, adopting the computer-matching system that is proposed would greatly improve the social experience of the vast majority of students, with the beneficial results of more alumni support and more young people wanting to go to Princeton.

Fred Macdonald ’61