Two officers have been forced to resign from the leadership at the Tiger Inn because of inappropriate emails that were sent to club members last month.
Adam Krop and Drew Hoffenberg have resigned as vice president and treasurer of the private eating club at Princeton University.
Krop sent out an email that showed an intoxicated first-year student performing oral sex on a senior on the dance floor. The email was sent to all the undergraduate club members via the club listserv, and included the text “Ivy blows… and so does this Asian chick.” Another club officer who responded with an email to the club that said “tru” has been allowed to continue as an officer.
Hoffenberg sent an email to club members about an Oct. 13 talk on campus by Sally Frank, the Princeton alumna who sued the eating clubs and Princeton University to force the clubs to admit women.
“Ever wonder who we have to thank for gender equality,” the email read. “Looking for someone to blame for the influx of girls? Come tomorrow and help boo Sally Frank.”
Several students were upset about the emails and said the emails created a hostile environment for women at the club, the third oldest eating club at the school and the last eating club to admit women.
The Princeton Police Department is looking into the photo incident, and Princeton University is conducting its own investigation. University Spokesman Martin Mbugua told Planet Princeton today that the school’s investigation is still in progress.
A week after the email story was first reported by Planet Princeton, someone sprayed the words “Rape Haven” on a stone wall in front of the club. The day after the incident, the graduate board for the club sent out a letter saying the culture at the club must change. The letter also informed students that a survey would be conducted.
The graduate board for the private eating club sent a second letter to members last week after the survey responses were submitted. The letter informed club members about the resignations.
“The job of the Grad Board is to raise money, set boundaries, work with the undergraduate officers to keep our members and guests safe, promote an inclusive culture and make final decisions around personnel issues,” reads the email. “After carefully listening to all sides—and to you—it is clear to us that the actions taken by Adam Krop and Drew Hoffenberg in the second week of October were offensive, disrespectful and in direct violation of our core values. This afternoon we asked Adam and Drew to step down as vice president and treasurer.”
A survey was conducted last month regarding club members feelings about Tiger Inn. The full survey responses have not been shared with the club or made public yet. According to the letter sent to club members, most of the feedback from members focused around bicker and initiations. A bicker committee will be formed “to preserve the customs we hold dear while making the events safer, less demeaning and more fun for everyone.”
Students also asked for more balance on the board in terms of gender, and more anonymity in the voting process.
The graduate board will also follow up on other recommendations, which include: creating a safe process for members to report incidents or concerns, improving access control at the door when on tap, increasing the percentage of members-only nights, and eliminating sexist or inappropriate theme nights. The graduate board for the club will also become balanced in terms of gender by the end of the year.
Some women who are members of the club were frustrated that it took bad press for action to be taken after the incidents. Some women members noted that the beer tap gets turned off for a period as punishment when furniture is broken, but not when the club’s female members are demeaned and humiliated.
Women club members have not felt comfortable commenting for attribution on the emails because they fear retaliation. After someone leaked the first email from the graduate board to Planet Princeton, a club officer sent out a club-wide email that read “it’s mole hunting season.”
The full letter dated Nov. 24 and sent to club members Nov. 26: Survey Action Step letter to Tiger Inn Membership.
The email incidents became public a day before the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights announced that it concluded an investigation of Title IX complaints filed against Princeton in 2010 and 2011. The investigation found that the school violated Title IX in its handling of sexual assault cases by favoring the rights of accused students over those of their reported victims. The school revised its policies and procedures and reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education addressing the compliance concerns.