Tiger Inn elected four new officers on March 31 after all but two officers resigned earlier that month following a party, deemed unauthorized, of the heavy-drinking group called the 21 Club.
The elections came after what was officially called a “security breach” at the club on March 9, according to an email obtained by The Daily Princetonian that was sent to members by the club’s graduate board president Robert “Hap” Cooper ’82.
Former president Ryan Cash ’15, house manager Dror Liebenthal ’15, treasurer Will Siroky ’15 and safety czar Victoria Majchrzak ’15 offered their resignations to the club’s graduate board of governors after the incident.
Oliver Bennett ’15, the vice president prior to the incident, was elected president. Adam Krop ’15, Andrew Hoffenberg ’15, Ren Scott ’15 were elected vice president, treasurer and house manager, respectively, while Brendan Byrne ’15, the social chair prior to the incident, will continue in that position. Francie Jenkins ’15 was appointed safety czar.
Immediately after the incident, Cooper wrote in a statement that what happened was in fact a party, although he did not provide further details about the events.
“Early Sunday morning, a private party took place in Tiger Inn without the necessary security precautions in place,” Cooper wrote. “Our officers neither planned, hosted nor participated in the function, but they allowed it to take place, putting the community at risk.”
However, two members with knowledge of the event confirmed that the incident was a party but explained that it was a party hosted by the 21 Club, a semi-secret society that groups some of the heaviest drinkers on campus. The two members were granted anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to the press.
The party allegedly took place between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on the morning of March 9, the sources said.
“That would have been the end of it except that the Grad Board watched the video of TI that night and saw what happened,” one of the sources said referring to footage taken by security cameras at the club.
The 21 Club members were allegedly “throwing the place apart” and “throwing up everywhere.”
The 21 Club is known for its drinking contests. The membership consists of 21 juniors and 21 seniors, mostly coming from four eating clubs: Ivy Club, Cap & Gown Club, Cottage Club and TI. During initiations, members reportedly have to drink 21 beers in 42 minutes, and the goal is to be the last one to throw up.
Cooper himself lists on his LinkedIn profile that he was president of the 21 Club during his time at the University. He confirmed that he participated in 21 Club initiations in 1981 but neither confirmed nor denied that this weekend’s incident was related to the 21 Club.
The elections at TI on March 31, which Cooper attended, were preceded by a “town hall” meeting between the members and the graduate board. In the meeting, the graduate board explained the details of the incident that led to the resignation of the four officers, and discussed the plans of the club going forward.
Cooper did not respond to emails and text messages, as well as did not return phone calls following the election. Former graduate board president Eric Pedersen ’82 said he was unavailable for comment.
After the officers resigned in early March, a petition criticizing the decision circulated among the members of the club, according to a member with knowledge of the events. The petition obtained over 100 signatures, but did not reverse the decision.
“The decision [to fire four officers] … will likely produce no productive results, has served only to further alienate the membership and foster the impression that the Graduate Board views us as irresponsible children,” the petition read. “The truth is this: the new officer corps inherited a hostile environment, which was the product of years of irresponsibility and bad luck.”
The petition proposed the creation of two new representatives per class, who would work with the graduate board.
“As a first step towards cooperation we propose the establishment of two additional elected representatives for each of the Junior and Senior classes. These representatives, elected and held accountable solely by their respective class years, would serve on a Task Force with the Graduate Board, the primary objective of which would be to increase transparency, accountability and representation in the Club’s governance,” it said.
The group of former officers and the group of new officers all either did not respond to requests for comment or declined to comment. Majchrzak is the projects editor of the ‘Prince.’