PWild won’t be available for 2019 incoming students

Cameron Cook, Assistant Campus Editor

Project Wildcat will not be held in September 2019 due to a decision by New Student and Family Programs to institute a yearlong planning period before the next excursion, according to an email sent to 2018 PWild counselors.

PWild, a hiking and backpacking pre-orientation program, is hosted along the Superior Hiking Trail in northern Minnesota. The students’ presence “continues to take considerable space and resources from local residents,” and the trail’s administrative staff have expressed that they don’t want PWild to return, the email said.

The one year planning period will allow for NSFP to review PWild’s programming and assure that it will “align with the expectations of NSFP and the values of Northwestern,” according to the email.

Though the email acknowledges past efforts “to address issues of group culture, traditions and norms continue that impede peer accountability and raise behavioral concerns both on- and off-trail.”

A group comprising NU students, staff and faculty will meet in January 2019 to review the programming, and will then present recommendations to NSFP and the Dean of Students.

According to the email, the group is aiming to “create a positive, high impact experience” for students participating in PWild in the future.

Three pre-orientation programs — CATalyst, the Chicago Undergraduate Program and Alternative Student Breaks-POP — are expected to take place next year, the email said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @cam_e_cook