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Princeton's Tiger Inn Elects First Female President Following Controversies

02/20/2015 06:46 pm ET | Updated Feb 23, 2015
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Princeton University's Tiger Inn, a controversial and storied eating club, elected its first female president this week.

Members elected Grace Larsen, a junior, as president, Maria Yu as treasurer, and Victoria Hammarskjold as communication chair, the first time the social club's undergraduate officers are gender-balanced since the Tiger Inn began allowing women in 1991, according to Planet Princeton. Male students were elected to the positions of vice president, house manager and social chair.

The election of women to three of the six officer roles follows a tumultuous year for the Tiger Inn, including investigations into whether previous club officers and bouncers distributed lewd photos of female students and encouraged members to mock the alumna credited for forcing Tiger Inn to go coed 25 years ago.

The 125-year old Tiger Inn is essentially a non-Greek fraternity at the prestigious New Jersey university. It's known as a place for parties, has a "bicker" process that serves as its recruitment and member-selection period, and maintains a physical plant and alumni connections similar to that of a fraternity. Princeton has no official Greek life system, but eating clubs act as de facto frat houses.

In October, Tiger Inn vice president Adam Krop circulated a photo of a female student performing oral sex on the dance floor at one of the club's parties. Krop resigned once the university began investigating.

Andrew Hoffenberg resigned as Tiger Inn's treasurer after encouraging members to boo Sally Frank during her guest lecture on campus in October. Frank filed a lawsuit that ultimately forced the school's eating clubs to admit women in 1990, after a long legal battle from male students at the time. Tiger Inn was the last eating club to admit women in 1991, and did so only after the Supreme Court declined to hear its appeal, according to The New York Times.

In December, Princeton police launched an investigation into a tip that Tiger Inn bouncers distributed a lewd photo of a former female student.

Tiger Inn had problems the previous school year as well. Four officers resigned in March 2014 after hosting a high-risk drinking party for the semi-secret 21 Club. The 21 Club is a student society at Princeton, whose membership is contingent on recruits drinking 21 beers in 42 minutes.

"We've been through the wringer as a club this past year," Larsen said in a statement Thursday, adding that she hopes to "strike a balance between embracing the possibilities of the future ... and maintaining the TI attitude."

Larsen, Yu and Hammarskjold declined interview requests.

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