History of the eating clubs
In 1855, faced with a simultaneous lack of campus-sponsored dining options and a prohibition on fraternities, Princeton students began taking their meals at boardinghouses in town. Twenty-four years later, a group of students rented a building on Mercer Street and began a more formal kind of "eating club."
Download a history (.pdf) compiled by the task force that traces the evolution of the clubs from their earliest days to the present, describing the rise and fall in the number of clubs and changes in both the club experience and the membership selection process.
Comments and Corrections
The task force welcomes comments and corrections to this brief history and visual timeline as it pursues its charge to review current relationships between the clubs and the University and examine ways that those relationships and the club experience can be improved for the benefit of the clubs, the University and students.