An Introduction to Eating Clubs

By Amna Amin on May 10, 2021

What Is an Eating Club?

Eating clubs are a major fixture of life at Princeton University, especially for upper classmen. Eating clubs are a set of buildings located just off campus on Prospect Avenue, which is affectionately referred to as “The Street” by students. These clubs provide a dining option for juniors and seniors, and currently 68% of juniors and seniors are members of an eating club. In addition to providing a dining option, the clubs provide a space for students to socialize. Most major parties on campus happen at eating clubs. The clubs themselves are co-ed with around 150-200 members each. There are currently 11 eating clubs operating at Princeton.


Menu of an early eating club

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Race and Eating Clubs

By Amna Amin on May 8, 2021

Racism in Imagery

The Princeton Bric-A-Brac refers to the yearbook that students used to put our every year. Within these year books, students would list the names of members of different organizations and also display drawings meant to show the character of the club.

Eating club imagery was often included in these yearbooks. Unfortunately, some of this imagery would display racist caricatures. For example, the following two images used for eating clubs display caricatures of Asians and Native Americans in the 1890s.


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Princeton Women's Exclusion from Eating Clubs

By Paul-Louis Biondi on May 8, 2021

A Timeline of Coeducation in Princeton’s Eating Clubs

As has been discussed, Princeton’s eating clubs have had a complicated and long journey with inclusion. They act as spaces meant for students at Princeton University, yet are private institutions that are not accountable to the university for the larger part. In many ways, they act as amplifiers and symbols of many of the issues that students navigate, face, and discuss during their time as an undergrad. Thus, it may be no surprise that there is no difference when it comes to the inclusion of women.

Below is a short chronology of key events that frames how women interacted with and were included in eating clubs and, in order to contextualize, the University more widely.

Written on May 5, 2021

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Class and Eating Clubs

By Paul-Louis Biondi on May 8, 2021

Class has long been a major issue at Princeton and a method of exclusion, not just at eating clubs but university wide. And the issue of financial burden has long been a topic of discussion and contention for undergraduates on campus. So, it comes as no surprise that eating clubs have historically been crucial to upholding class and economic divides on campus.

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Fairness and Eating Clubs

By Amna Amin on May 4, 2021

Given the exclusivity of many eating clubs, students and other people at Princeton have historically been concerned about the fairness of the eating clubs, especially in regards to bicker.

This story map showcases a few important historical events that demonstrate the concern over fairness and how it has and has not changed over time.

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