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Letter Box


A letter about Bicker

September 7, 2001

When I was a sophomore, I bickered and was not accepted. In many respects this experience changed my life for the better.

Raised in an affluent WASP culture outside Philadelphia, I never questioned the morality of bicker. Of course I never felt like an outsider. I couldn’t understand why five of six of my roommates refused to participate and considered it shallow and antiquated. They perceived it as an exclusionary, vestigial remnant of Princeton’s prep school past.

When I was turned down I got both the typical platitudes from my friends who were accepted and the cold shoulder. It was only after I had to find a place of my own that I understood what my roommates meant and felt.

Needless to say, I am a better person and physician for not receiving the coveted letter under the door.

What is the moral of this? That bicker is socially useful and should exist to bring sheltered affluent students into the reality of multicultural upper middle and lower income class America, or that its presence is an affront to the majority of Princetonians whom it seeks to exclude?

I would love to hear the opinions of those who chose not to bicker or were turned down.

Karen Smith
Tucson, Ariz.

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