A mysterious Princeton University secret society that allegedly forces members to drink 21 beers in 42 minutes is making campus news after members reportedly trashed one of the school’s eating clubs this weekend, The Daily Princetonian reports.
Called the “21 Club,” the secret society reportedly gathers together the heaviest drinkers on campus — 21 juniors and 21 seniors — for at least one annual drinking contest. In a 2009 profile of the group titled “An Elusive Institution,” The Princetonian reported that “incoming members participate in a drinking contest in which they consume 21 beers, one every other minute for 42 minutes.”
Members reportedly represent four of Princeton’s oldest and most elite eating clubs — five students each from Cottage Club, Cap and Gown Club, Ivy Club, and Tiger Inn — as well as one independent member. “Most of these people [who receive bids] go out multiple times a week and are completely blacked out, so they’re chosen for a reason,” one 21 Club member told The Princetonian.
This year, the contest was reportedly held at Tiger Inn. However, the space was so badly wrecked — The Princeton reports that “21 Club members were allegedly ‘throwing the place apart’ and ‘throwing up everywhere'” — that most of Tiger Inn’s student leadership has resigned their positions.
The Princetonian described the 21 Club’s annual drinking contest in depth in their 2009 profile, speaking with “Matthew,” an anonymous student member:
The members assemble at one of the eating clubs on the morning of the contest, Matthew said, adding that each club provides one or two kegs.
“It’s a scary thing … We’re all sitting there with a big dumpster in the middle, and the older brothers are behind you feeding you beers, and you have to [drink one] every [other] minute, no stopping, and people are yelling at you,” Matthew explained.
Even before the contest begins, the juniors must each drink seven social beers in addition to the 21 they will later consume.
“Keeping it down is not the point,” Matthew said, adding that there was a certain sense of apprehension among the new members.
“There were only five people per club, and we finished a keg, like, a half-hour in,” Matthew said. “They had to go and get another one. That was my first realisation: I was, like, ‘Oh, sh*t.'”
According to Matthew, the eating club of the first person to vomit has to host the contest the following year, an unfortunate responsibility due to the amount of members puking. As The Princetonian reports, “By the end of the contest, Matthew said he had consumed between 30 and 35 beers in just more than an hour. He added that most members puke ’20 to 30 times.'”
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