Princeton’s Task Force on the Relationship between the University and the Eating Clubs has published a final report Monday, Nov. 12, offering various recommendations related to diversity and inclusion, student health and well-being, eating club costs, and new eating club-University partnerships.
The task force was appointed last year to continue to strengthen the relationship between the independent eating clubs and the University. Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun chaired the group of staff, students and alumni.
“The University and the eating clubs operate as separate and independent organizations, though it’s important that we continue to acknowledge our connection when it comes to enhancing the campus life experience for all undergraduates,” Calhoun said. “We hope the task force’s recommendations will bolster a sense of community and belonging for all students at Princeton.”
The task force report includes ideas such as:
- Developing partnerships between the eating clubs and campus centers (such as the LGBT Center, Fields Center and Women*s Center) to help the clubs support a diverse student population.
- Continuing to enhance and potentially expand training programs for eating club officers and members regarding health and safety.
- Exploring more ways to reduce eating club charges; and finding possible programmatic partnerships between the eating clubs and the residential colleges.
Further development of these recommendations will be the responsibility of a new student-staff group that will include representatives from the University and the eating clubs. The new standing committee also will include a student representative from the Undergraduate Student Government. The group plans to meet monthly to review and help implement ideas.
The latest recommendations build on a 2010 report that reviewed how the eating clubs and University could better work together. During the past eight years, the demographics of undergraduates have changed substantially (for example, 20 percent of the Class of 2022 is eligible for Pell grants for low-income students, compared with 7 percent in the Class of 2008), and the University adopted a strategic framework that includes priorities to expand the undergraduate student body and enhance residential life.
“With the University’s new strategic goals and the changing landscape of the student body, it was an opportune time to re-examine how the University and the eating clubs can continue to strengthen its relationship,” Calhoun said.
The Interclub Council issued a statement, saying it is “greatly encouraged to see that the task force report recommendations are aligned with the actions both in progress and already taken by the ICC over the past few years.”
The ICC statement also included reaction to the report from task force members Angelica Pedraza, a member of the Class of 2012 who is graduate president of Colonial Club, and Tom Fleming, a member of the Class of 1969 who chairs the Graduate Inter Club Council (GICC).