Purple Posse restructures in response to feedback

Cat Zakrzewski

Purple Posse, a group of students who welcome freshmen to campus and assist them on move-in day, will be expanding to all move-in areas during Wildcat Welcome 2012 and helping all returning students on move-in day.

Paul Hubinsky, the assistant director of University Residential Life, said the decision to change the program was based on feedback the department received following move-in last September.

“Returning students, especially sophomores, were surprised that they didn’t have help,” Hubinsky said. “We’re looking to provide that service because we can.”

Applications for the 2012 Purple Posse were due May 1, and the group received 180 applications. About 90 to 100 applicants will be chosen from this year’s pool, Hubinsky said.

While Hubinsky said he did not know the numbers of applications received in previous years, he said this year’s number was above average.

Students have different incentives to apply to be a part of the Purple Posse, including the opportunity to move into the dorms early and stay on campus for Wildcat Welcome Week.

However, SESP sophomore Priscilla Liu, a Purple Posse site leader who is helping review applications, said they are looking for people who do not only want the position’s benefits.

“We look for people who are passionate about the job, helping people out and representing Northwestern,” Liu said. Some students said they applied because they wanted to return the favor after Purple Posse helped them during their own Wildcat Welcome Weeks.

“My move-in experience was easy because of Purple Posse, and I wanted to be able to help them out,” said Emily Howell, a Communication freshman who applied for Purple Posse this year. “I think it would be nice for everyone to have that experience.”

Due to the changes this year, Purple Posse members will work a four-hour shift on Monday, Sept. 24, in addition to the seven-hour shift on freshmen move-in day, Hubinsky said.

“It was a good opportunity to get on campus a little early and spend some quality time at Northwestern without classes,” said Medill sophomore Alison Decker, who worked on Purple Posse last year.

Hubinsky also said applicants are selected so that a variety of different student groups are represented within Purple Posse. Through the selection process, University Residential Life and the site leaders also attempt to create a group with a balanced number of men and women, as well as students who live on North and South Campus, he said.

“We’re looking for students who, through their application, prove they can provide great service to incoming students and their family members,” Hubinsky said.