It’s been a rough year for Tiger Inn, a Princeton eating club famous for perpetually contradicting the adage that “any press is good press.” In an article published Monday, The New York Times exposed two email leaks that led the club’s Vice President and Treasurer to be requested to leave the board. Less than an hour later, the Daily Princetonian published its own account of the incidents, both of which feature Tiger Inn board members living up to the club’s sexist reputation.
Both articles pulled no punches in describing the sequence of events that forced Tiger Inn into a change of its leadership. According to the Times article, former Vice President Adam Krop forwarded an image of two people “engaged in a sex act” on the public dance floor of a T.I. party to the Tiger Inn listserv; the email included a crude joke as well as the precise identification of the woman as an “asian chick”. The Daily Princetonian, in an attempt offer a more intimate campus perspective on the matter, further clarified that the photo in question was of “a [female] freshman student performing oral sex on a [male] senior student;” the paper also classified the incident as an act of sexual assault, citing Princeton’s daily crime log.
Anonymous Princeton students confirm that neither of the subjects in the photo can be identified due to the poor lighting conditions present in the T.I. basement during social events. The Princeton Police department has also publicly stated that the absence of a self-identified victim precludes a formal investigation into the incident. Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither the receiver nor the administrator of the sex act has identified themselves as the subjects in the photograph.
To make the story worse for T.I., the same night that Krop circulated the grainy photo, former Treasurer Andrew Hoffenberg sent out a call-to-arms of sorts to the same email listserv. “Looking for someone to blame for the influx of girls?” Hoffenberg opened. “Come tomorrow and help boo Sally Frank.” (Context for non-Princetonians: Sally Frank is a Princeton alumnus whose lawsuit forced Tiger Inn to admit female members into its ranks; Hoffenberg is referring to a lecture at which Frank spoke in October.) Current Tiger Inn members defended Hoffenberg’s email as a good-natured attempt to defuse a “potentially contentious issue.”
A third piece of evidence that’s certainly not helping Hoffenberg’s case is T.I.’s most recent members’ event encouraging students to dress as “15th Century A.D. Ottoman Aristocrats…or Sluts.” In the spirit of gender equality, all T.I. members were allowed to choose which persona they most identified with, regardless of sex. According to students present at the event, there was no shortage of either aristocrats or sluts.
Before Monday’s news cycle, Tiger Inn’s most recent appearance in the media involved the anonymous spray-painting of “RAPE HAVEN” on the visible outer wall of the property. At the time, it was believed that the graffiti was done in response to the distribution of this same photo, which took place in October but has only now resulted in a formal punishment for Tiger Inn.
While the perpetrator offered no further explanation to his or her succinct message, campus speculated that the phrase alluded to the “rape culture” that has allegedly been persistent at T.I. over the years. Additionally, Princeton’s Yik-Yak hypothesized that the choice of the words “Rape Haven” made a reference to the Princeton sandwich restaurant known as Hoagie Haven.
Hoagie Haven is famous for its late-night clientele of intoxicated students due to its proximity to the Princeton eating clubs.