Winter recruitment takes hold of Northwestern’s campus

Sammy Caiola

For some freshmen men, this week has been an experience like none other, with opportunities to smash television monitors, race live goldfish and watch hours of “Sex and the City” with their fraternities of choice. Meanwhile, hoards of women have been making a high-heeled trek south in an attempt to find the perfect fit for sorority recruitment.

Fraternity recruitment officially began Tuesday and will continue until Saturday, while sorority recruitment began Thursday and will continue until Tuesday. Recruitment takes place in the evenings and determines what sorority or fraternity, if any, a freshman will join.

Fraternity event nights, held at the chapter houses, consisted of a meal and activity. Freshmen men have had the freedom to choose which house they want to visit on any given night. Though some fraternities gave “early bids” to select freshmen on Tuesday, bids can be handed out until Saturday.

“The social aspect is appealing,” said Sage Schroeder, a Medill freshman who attended a dinner and a chapter meeting. “I’d like a sense of identity and belonging to something bigger.”

Sorority recruitment is more structured, involving four rounds of selection and a Preference Night of formal parties Monday. On Tuesday night, women will receive a bid from a sorority after a process called mutual selection, which considers the preferences of both sororities and freshmen.

“I’m open to the opportunities that rushing will bring me, but I’ll be OK if I end up not completing the rushing process,” said Iman Gulston, a Weinberg freshman.

As of last January, about one-third of NU students are involved in Greek life. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, total membership was 2,766 students last year.

Despite its popularity, some are reluctant to drop a bid. Even so, the week promises opportunity for all.

“I’m going to go up and see what the environment is like,” said Paya Sarraf, a Bienen freshman. “I’m definitely not going to pledge – I love my dorm too much. But I want to see if the events are cool.”

To participate in sorority recruitment, freshman girls were required to sign up in advance and pay a $40 registration fee, and those participating in the recruitment process were given T-shirts. They were also assigned a recruitment counselor to help them through the recruitment process.

“I know some girls have been having ongoing fashion shows for the past few days, but I’m not really worried,” said Sara Olstad, a Medill freshman.

A spokesman for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life said there haven’t been any changes between this year’s recruitment process and last year’s.

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