Bicker Message from the President

Dear Princeton,

As we enter the last day of bicker, I wanted to offer this
perspective.  Regardless of whatever happens, your eating choices do
not determine your worth.

Being there for my sophomore friends right now, I finally understand
the immense social pressure that bicker can bring. It shakes me to my
core that the process can make some of the most confident people I
know seriously doubt their self-worth.

It can be easy to feel reduced to a label when eating clubs are so
pervasive.  This is a friendly reminder that people are more nuanced
than the stereotypes that we associate with each eating club, co-op,
or with going independent. We need to get to a place where all choices
regarding upperclassmen eating are equitable in both perception and
reality: in terms of financial, social, and accessibility, all of the
options need to be equitable.

There seems to be a hierarchy of choice. Whether or not you decide to
go independent, join a co-op, sign-in to a club, fall bicker, bicker
as a junior or senior, drop your club, switch clubs, stay on a dining
plan etc… they should simply be making decisions, with no judgment
involved.

I want to emphasize, there is no “right way” to do Princeton. Although
it may feel otherwise, the choices we make about eating clubs, are
just that, choices. I sit on the Eating Club Task Force and this is
something we are actively trying to address. Please send me or other
members feedback. We have a meeting this Friday.

I encourage you to be there for your friends. The reality is that some
people may not get their first choice and personally speaking, it is a
painful process. It would be a disservice to pretend that it is not.
Hold on to the good friendships that you have made before bicker/
sign-ins and be a good friend and check in with your friends this
week.

That being said, for all those who are going through bicker, there is
no shame in being excited, nervous, anxious, or the entire gambit of
feelings that come with wanting something. Whatever you are feeling,
it is okay to feel something about bicker. Most people do.

If you want to talk, I am happy to lend an open ear, a shoulder to cry
on, or to provide chocolate.

Good luck today!

Rachel