Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Whitman Epic Continues

Once upon a time, the administration created College Night, which caused a great stir amongst the undergraduates of lower campus. The administration asked non-Whitman residents to eat in their own dining halls, ostensibly to foster a sense of community. Wilsonians, Butlerites and Forbesians  alike felt betrayed. For one night a week, they were kept out of the overcrowded Whitman dining hall and banished to Wilcox, Wu and the far off land of Forbes. The proud and the few of Rocky and Mathey were hardly affected. (Albeit, as a Rockyite myself, I did question the  weird fiesta music and cartoonish disguises with the big nose, mustache and glasses they handed out as part of the festivities). But, for our compatriots down campus, times were tough. Cue bagpipes.

As if superfluous paraphernalia and recent annexations of nearby dormitories weren't enough, a recent email was sent to the student body banning not only members of older (ahem, more esteemed) residential colleges from the Whitman dining hall, but all undergraduates. Even Whitman residents. 

On Tuesday, April 8, the much admired Dean Dunne wrote, "The Admission Office has requested that on the Thursday night of both weekends (April 10 and April 17) these students [pre-frosh] have the opportunity to eat in the Whitman dining hall. Due to the number of admitted students participating, this means we need to close the dining hall to all current Princeton students, including Whitman residents. We thank you for your understanding in this matter." 

Finally, those uppity Whitman kids will be banished from their own dining hall, suffering along along with their lower campus cohorts. No more shall they be privileged above the rest.

By setting Whitman aside for the pre-frosh on both Thursday nights, the admission's office seems to believe Whitman to be the best dining hall. Perhaps even quintessentially Princeton. But why section off the pre-frosh from the students during dinner? Dinner is a great way to socialize and to talk about the Princeton experience. And why not expose the poor pre-frosh to the wile ways of Wu, Wilcox and Forbes? At least half of them will be subject to those dining halls at some point in the upcoming year. 

I find the whole thing to be rather silly. And if you ask me, Whitman is getting a little to big for its britches. Members only College Nights? Banning your own residents from meals, even if only for a night? 

They may take our meals, but they will never take our freedom.