[The Archives] "Sign-In"

Colonial Club was the first on the street to switch from bicker to a "sign-in" system in 1971. In fact, Colonial was so popular that year that sophomores literally slept on the porch in the freezing cold so they could sign in before the club filled to capacity. Our still-legendary sign-ins have even been known to make the news!



By 6:30 Friday morning, enough persons had arrived at Colonial Club to fill its quota of 50 members for its sophomore section, despite the fact that the club did not intend to open its books until 8 a.m. The crowd had begun gathering at 4, warned by the memory that last year Colonial was so popular it was filled before it had officially opened its books.

In a scene reminiscent of the Oklahoma land rush, the club’s officers counted off the chimes as the clock struck 8 a.m., and then admitted the frozen sophomores, who had waited outside in subfreezing weather. ‘Anyone can bicker, but it takes guts to join Colonial,’ one girl was heard to mutter as she hugged herself to keep warm.

Edward N. Nickinson III ‘72, a Colonial member who lives in the club, spent the night distributing coffee to the stalwarts and trying to keep their morale up. When it was over, he commented, ‘I feel like I’ve delivered a baby or something.’
— "Sophomores flock to Colonial," The Daily Princetonian, December 6, 1971