Editor's note: The Eating Club Task Force released a report in May that offered a number of recommendations, including a new method of selecting club members based on the medical-school match program (Notebook, June 2). PAW also reported that the University planned to review its position of not recognizing fraternities and sororities. Following is a sampling of reactions from alumni; more can be found among letters at PAW Online, and additional letters will be printed in future issues.
Ivy, Tiger Inn, Cottage, Cap & Gown, and Tower, watch out! You are the real targets of the administration’s reported threat to “review thriving Greek organizations” (Notebook, June 2).
A whopping 74.6 percent of the Class of 2012 elected to bicker you. And the 2010 Eating Club Task Force has discovered that 57, 50, 27, 21, and 14 percent of your members, respectively, are affiliated with Princeton’s some 10 fraternities and four sororities. Composed of undergraduates of every race, creed, homeland, and sexual orientation, these chapters share with those five oldest, most prestigious eating clubs the right to select their members.
This is what really concerns Nassau Hall. It frets over losing some of its brightest, but socially challenged, applicants to Harvard and Yale, where only 10 percent of the undergraduates belong to the former’s finals clubs and the latter’s senior societies.
Will Princeton’s similar, four-year residential colleges marginalize these bicker clubs down to that level? We’ll see. But eating-club expense is now
part of ’11’s and ’12’s financial-aid package. If the administration is serious about ’13’s and ’14’s less affluent succeeding on Prospect Street, it now should also cover the modest cost of Greek affiliation!
Instead, President Tilghman said that, according to PAW, one way to ban Greek life would be to require matriculating students to pledge not to join fraternities or sororities, the same method used when fraternities were banned from Princeton between 1855 and World War II. Let’s not go back to that era, when women, blacks, and gays, too, were unwelcome at Old Nassau. Rather, President Tilghman should continue the hands-off-the-Greeks-and-eating-clubs policy of her immediate predecessors: Bill Bowen, a Sigma Chi, and Harold Shapiro, a Zeta Beta Tau.Editor’s note: An expanded version of this letter is posted at PAW Online. Robinson, a member of Quadrangle Club and Beta Theta Pi, was a leading advocate for the return to campus of Greek organizations in 1982.