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Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Video: 'Eating Clubs at Princeton'


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Princeton's 10 non-residential eating clubs are a significant part of social life for many undergraduate students. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

[music]

Eric Salazar:
Thank you for joining me on a tour of Princeton
University's Eating Clubs. I'm Eric Salazar,

Eric Salazar:
and I'm a former president of the Princeton Quadrangle Club.

Eric Salazar:
The clubs are some of the most prominent and
active dining and social options for Princeton's

Eric Salazar:
upperclassmen. All 10 of the clubs are coeducational
and are operated by student leadership.

Eric Salazar:
About 70 percent of Princeton's junior and
senior class members eat their meals in one

Eric Salazar:
of the clubs that line Prospect Avenue, which
students call "The Street."

[music]

Haley Thompson:
What I like about eating here is that we have
some impact on what we get to eat. We have

Haley Thompson:
a really open relationship with our chef,
and if there's a dinner that's delicious,

Haley Thompson:
we can go to the chef and tell him that it
was delicious and we want more of something.

Eric Salazar:
The clubs provide a range of social, academic
and intramural sports activities that are

Eric Salazar:
just as much of an attraction as the meals.

Haley Thompson:
What being a member of the club means most
to me is having a family on campus. I study

Haley Thompson:
here, I eat here, I do pretty much everything here.

David Hou:
Everything we do here at the club is a social
function. It all has a uniting feeling for

David Hou:
all the members, and that's really what the
clubs are about.

Haley Thompson:
I certainly do a lot of work at Cap, as well.
We have problem-set sessions in the computer

Haley Thompson:
room. I've taken finals in the library. It
really supports me academically as well as

Haley Thompson:
a place to be social and have fun.

Eric Salazar:
The clubs host a range of educational opportunities,
including professor roundtables, peer tutoring

Eric Salazar:
and group study sessions.

Haley Thompson:
One of the great things about having a library
is that you can always go to study,

Haley Thompson:
and it's very helpful because you're studying
with your friends, so you don't feel like

Haley Thompson:
you miss out on anything by studying but you're
still getting things done, which sometimes

Haley Thompson:
is tough.

Eric Salazar:
The clubs arrange other activities such as
community service and outreach, social events,

Eric Salazar:
recreational activities and intramural sports.

David Hou:
Over the past few weeks, we've had our I.M.
three-on-three basketball tournaments and

David Hou:
some indoor soccer. I participate in every
single one of my club's intramural sports activities,

David Hou:
and it is a blast. I have the time of my life.

Haley Thompson:
This fall I played flag football, and the
dodgeball tournament every year is a great experience.

Eric Salazar:
In 1855, faced with a lack of campus-sponsored
dining options and a prohibition on fraternities,

Eric Salazar:
Princeton students began dining in boarding
houses in town.

Eric Salazar:
Twenty-four years later, a group of students
rented a building on Mercer Street and began

Eric Salazar:
a more formal kind of "eating club."

Eric Salazar:
The process of becoming a club member has
evolved over the years. Today, any student

Eric Salazar:
who wants to join can become a member of a
club. They are very diverse, and about half

Eric Salazar:
of the members are women.

Eric Salazar:
The University's financial aid policy helps
students on aid cover the costs of eating

Eric Salazar:
at the clubs.

Eric Salazar:
Students are eligible to join a club in the
second semester of sophomore year. Half of

Eric Salazar:
the clubs have selection processes, and half
admit members through a sign-in process.

Eric Salazar:
Each club is small enough to get to know all
of your fellow members. For example, you may

Eric Salazar:
bump into future Olympians, classical musicians
or ballet dancers.

David Hou:
Or you can go into our pool room, play a game
of pool with that guy you've always seen

David Hou:
and find out that he actually speaks seven
different languages and

David Hou:
has studied Latin with the Pope's secretary
in Vatican City. And the great thing is that

David Hou:
this happens at all 10 clubs up and down the street.

Eric Salazar:
Membership leads to long-lasting bonds.

David Hou:
Each club has its own unique culture and occupies
a very specific niche along the street. But

David Hou:
I'd say that all 10 come together to give
the University a very unique atmosphere, and

David Hou:
that is what makes the eating clubs so special.

[music]

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