On Monday, July 1st, 2013, Christopher L. Eisgruber became the 20th President of Princeton University. The following is a real e-mail sent by our Chairman to the incoming president on this momentous occasion.
From the Laptop of Timothy D. Matchen
130th Reincarnation of the Great Tiger Spirit
Chairman, The Princeton Tiger
To the Wise Man, From the Fool
Esteemed President Eisgruber,
On behalf of the entire staff of the The Princeton Tiger, I would like to take this opportunity to be one of the last to congratulate you on your selection to serve as the 20th president of Princeton University. Had I had a moment of sober clarity in the month of April I would have liked to be among the first, but I have always been a firm believer in the sentiment that late well-wishes are better than none at all. I would also like to acknowledge the great responsibility you have accepted on behalf of our school—if being president of a university is anything like being a president of an eating club, you are going to jail if anyone is found engaging in any illegal activities on the property, and that strikes me as a tremendous weight on your shoulders.
I write to you today because, as the head of the school’s oldest publication (unless one considers the Prince or the Nass Lit, but why start now?), I feel it is my duty to open a dialogue between the administration and the magazine in order to ensure the continuing prosperity of the University and the perpetual poverty of our Tiger rag.
Relations between the school and the Tiger have been admittedly rocky over the years, between jokes in bad taste and behavior in worse taste, but over the past several years, the magazine has diverged from its roots, becoming an organization in far better standing with the school’s administrators. In the past few years, we have taken such drastic steps such as resolving our debt to ODUS and generally staying out of trouble.
Needless to say, these steps toward good citizenship and improved relations are an abomination that must be eradicated. In the nation’s service and in the service of all nations, I implore you to work with me to fundamentally destroy any goodwill between my publication and your administration. Consider this: in the past 130 years, the United States has won two World Wars, the Civil Rights Act was passed, women were admitted to Princeton for the first time, women were admitted to Ivy for the first time, the Soviet Union fell, Ben and Jerry’s developed Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream, and not for one moment of that was the Tiger profitable, in good taste, or even particularly funny. I’m no statistician, but 130 years of correlational evidence certainly suggests at least a modicum of causality. If we don’t act now to correct the damage done to the fragile balance between good and Tiger, the harm may become irreparable.
Certainly you must see the need for immediate action. On our end, we are already doing our part; my predecessor, a Pyne Prize winner and model student, is currently being expunged from the totality of our records, that we may remove this bright spot on our blackened history. As for your part: I have come up with a solution that I believe will, in a single stroke, undo any good we may have incidentally caused in recent history:
Issue me a Dean’s Warning.
Let us abandon the assumption that I haven’t done anything to merit a Dean’s Warning. I think we can agree this fact has been a failing on both our parts—the administration for not paying close enough attention to us to notice the multitude of instances of money laundering and fraud carried out under my watch, and I for not doing something egregious enough to be impossible to ignore. But let us assume for a minute we need not have any burden of “proof of wrongdoing” or the like. The benefits we would each reap from such action would be broad in their extent. The assignment of a Dean’s Warning without any shred of justification would immediately ensure a general state of antagonism between the revered leaders of Princeton and the men and women of Tiger for years to come. Not only would the damage of recent years be undone, the school-magazine relations would certainly sour to a point unrivaled since the last time the administration got fed up with us and straight-up shut us down.
But if you are not swayed by duty to the ongoing glory of Old Nassau, perhaps instead you would consider the benefits you would reap personally. I assume bestowing a Dean’s Warning on a student is similar to making love: namely, you get better at it with practice, and it likely ends in tears. What I offer you is essentially a free pass to get the first one out of your system now. This is a rare opportunity to both improve the school and improve your own presidency.
I earnestly hope my warnings do not fall on deaf ears.
Timothy D. Matchen
The First of His Name
Wielder of the Tiger Staff