Recruitment week is here — but some students refuse to go Greek


Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Amos Pomp. To provide an alternative to participating in recruitment, Pomp posted on Facebook a list of other activities to do around campus or in downtown Evanston.

Pranav Baskar , Assistant Campus Editor

As recruitment begins, some students have been seeking alternatives to participating in Greek activities.

Those options may not be hard to find.

Last Sunday, Weinberg junior Amos Pomp posted on Facebook a list of alternative activities for students to participate in during recruitment week. The catalog of events — which includes a University-organized game night, live music shows and a trivia competition in downtown Evanston — provides options for each day of the week.

Pomp said he was inspired to make the post when he began to notice a lot of publicity pushes on Facebook for joining Greek organizations. He didn’t see the same level of affirmation for students who chose to stay out of Greek life and wanted to change that.

“I realized there’s not a lot of great publicity for alternatives to rushing,” Pomp said. “So I asked myself, ‘What can I practically say except it’s okay not to?’”

The answer to Pomp’s question came in the form of his list, which racked up over a hundred likes. Pomp said that his post was met with positive feedback, something that bodes well for the future.

While Pomp said he didn’t see other lists like his, he has noticed more student events pop up throughout the week, though they weren’t labeled expressly as alternatives to recruitment activities.

“There are other options,” he said. “We just want more people to see them.”

Medill sophomore Zoe Detweiler said the sheer prevalence of Greek organizations on NU’s campus often makes students feel compelled by their peers to participate in recruitment. About 32 percent of undergraduate men and 40 percent of undergraduate women join Greek life, according to Northwestern data.

“There’s social pressure everywhere — on your way to class, on social media,” she said. “The best you can do is try to find another community you feel comfortable with.”

SESP first-year Emma Stein said she hopes the University will create more options for students who are not interested in the Greek scene. However, she doesn’t expect that to happen soon, especially given the financial impact of fraternities and sororities.

Pomp emphasized the need for a more present, peer-led conversation validating the experiences of students who don’t feel like Greek life is for them.

“There’s no consistent vocal presence offering alternatives to rush,” he said. “We need more visible safe spaces.”

Elizabeth Byrne contributed reporting.

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Twitter: @pranav_baskar