An Open Letter to Students before Winter Recruitment:

Freshman year can be a confusing time. It is a time where we can most easily meet new people, explore new interests, and challenge both ourselves and the world around us. Freshman year is also an opportunity to shed our personas from high school and to be someone new. Regardless of who you are, who you were, and who you want to be, during this time there is an immense pressure for us to quickly fit in, find our clique, and live up to every expectation we set for our own college experience.

This January, hundreds of excited men and women in the class of 2019 will meet their newfound brothers and sisters through IFC and PHA recruitment. For many of us at Northwestern, we rely on winter recruitment to find that group of students who just ‘get us’. Recruitment offers the promise of new friendship, belonging, and a place where we can truly be comfortable with ourselves while we continue to navigate through this new cold labyrinth we call winter quarter. But winter recruitment is sometimes far from this fairy tale narrative. That is why we are writing this letter to you.

To the Class of 2019, transfers, and to anyone participating in winter recruitment: do not let winter recruitment define who you are. Fraternity life can be fantastic. Indeed, many of the writers of this letter found an immediate sense of belonging within our chapters. For others of us, recruitment proved to be challenging, with the bonds of friendship only forming over time. And some of us have experienced dissent with our organizations, never truly finding that sense of brotherhood or sisterhood we sought when we decided to participate in recruitment. All of our stories are different, as will be yours. We cannot tell you what will be right for you, but we can urge you to go into recruitment with an open mind.

Recruitment Week at Northwestern is one of the first times when we must answer the question, “What do you want, and why here, and why now?” This is not answered on the “Common App”, nor to our moms at dinner when we want to go over to a friend’s house. This is answered to a group of people who we hope to one day call our brothers and sisters. For some it can be terrifying, for others it can be awe-inspiring. This can be one of the first times that we let ourselves be vulnerable, and in that short week we give our pitch, repeat it dozens of times, and then, as quickly as it seemed to sneak up on us, the week is over. This week is a time many of us feel the most inadequate or the most competent. We ask ourselves, did I say the right things, wear the right clothes, talk to the right people, act cool, speak the right way? Was I good enough? These questions can get lodged in our throats. and can weigh as heavy as boulders in our minds.

Rejection or acceptance. Bid or no bid. Not knowing if what we put out there – which is usually everything we have to offer – was enough can be stressful, as that yes or no can be a life-altering word. For others of us, recruitment can flip our social lives on their heads, sending all of the friends we made in fall quarter scattered in different directions. Some of you may feel lost, wondering if you did something wrong, or if you made some poor decision.

But we are here to say that you have already proven, through your tenacity, hard work and willingness to try new experiences, that you are good enough. Don’t let the fear of rejection cause you mental distress or to question your life worth, and don’t let the success of acceptance misguide you on a path of ostentation. Don’t let the thought of others in your residence halls starting to go on their own paths winter quarter prevent you from going on your own. And if rejection does come around, know that you are not alone. Sometimes it can feel like the world is falling from beneath your feet, but it’s not. You’re just flying higher. You will learn and grow from your recruitment experience and be a better person, regardless of if you get a bid. If you don’t find your home here in Fraternity & Sorority Life, then you will find it somewhere else. We know you can. We know you will.

To those of you who do not find your ‘dream’ organization, to those of you who are not immediate “besties” with every new brother, and to those of you who forgo recruitment altogether: you are not alone.

Winter quarter can be a stressful time. Not knowing whether you should wear three layers of clothing or four layers, walking with your back against the wind (literally) as you walk from north campus to south campus, and always having that little glimmer of hope that Morty will send out an email with the headline “Classes Are Cancelled” really takes a toll on you. But there is also the lingering stress of not knowing where you’ll end up, seeing your friends all start to live their busy lives, and missing the warmth of your bed back home. Winter quarter sucks, there’s very little way around that. Seasonal depression can impact any of us, especially during recruitment week. But as we’ve said several times in this letter and will continue to say ‘til we’re ushered off stage, you are not alone.

Finally, as you navigate through this quarter, we want to remind you first that there are always people whom you can ask for help. This winter many of us will get physically sick, and when this happens we will most likely consume tylenol, cough drops, and hot chicken soup to help us feel better. However, many of us will have mental health that suffers, and unlike our coughs and colds, we may elect to do absolutely nothing to get better. Schedule some time for yourself, and if you feel things crashing down, sometimes all we need to do is talk to someone. There are many links to resources on campus posted at the bottom of this letter, but remember that you also have each other. Take care of yourself, ‘Cats, but also try to be there for those around you, because we, as students, are the most abundant resource available on campus. No matter what happens during winter, or during recruitment, you are not alone.

Resources:

Resources

Signed,

Jacob Swiatek, MENtal Health President

Rodney Orr, IFC Chapter President

Walker McKinney, IFC Chapter President

Sarah Moss, NU Active Minds Co-President

Isaac Rappoport, MENtal Health

Neal Davidson, MENtal Health

Max Sterling, MENtal Health

Alex Gedalin, MENtal Health

Daniel Loizzo III, IFC VP for Programming

Daniel Perlovsky, IFC Chapter President

Jason Crain, IFC Chapter President

Joseph Raff, IFC Chapter President

Samuel Levant, IFC Chapter President

Hrid Biswas, IFC Chapter President

Michael Foulkes, IFC Chapter President

Thomas Hyman, IFC Chapter President

Andrew Dai, IFC Chapter President

Will Altabef, IFC Chapter President

Daniel Isaacson, IFC Chapter President

Joe Sauer, IFC VP for Recruitment

Julian Gerez, IFC VP for Public Relations

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Recruitment Week Schedule

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IFC Recruitment Kickoff

Come join us this Sunday, October 4th at 5 p.m. as we kickoff recruitment for IFC chapters! There will be free food and representatives from all of our recruiting chapters so that you will be able to talk to to learn more about fraternity life at Northwestern. All are welcome!

Register for recruitment here: http://goo.gl/forms/gXXovz2Pbx

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Fraternity Recruitment Information for Freshmen – 2015

Welcome to Northwestern! With Wildcat Welcome coming to a close, you’re surely taking the next step into being fully acclimated into becoming a Wildcat. We are happy to hear about you interest in Fraternity life. Here is some information about our recruitment process for the upcoming year.

  • Before October 4th, the Freshmen Freeze will be in place (this means freshmen cannot visit chapter facilities) so just focus on getting started up with life at Northwestern!
  • October 4th will be the date of our Recruitment Kickoff at Norris Lawn: come by for food and a chance to meet members of all the recruiting fraternities!
  • The very next week on October 18th, IFC will be hosting a recruitment how-to in which we will outline dates and helpful tips. After that will be the very first Sunday Night Dinner, where you can choose to enter chapter houses, eat more food, and meet more members!
  • Recruitment Week is the first week after winter break (starting on Monday, January 4th) and is when fraternities can extend offers of invitation to new members.

We are so excited to meet the newest members of the Northwestern community!

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Fraternity and Sorority Life Award Winners

Congratulations to all of our award winners! We are also so proud of those who were recognized at the Wildcat Excellence Awards: Joey Becker of Northwestern Alpha Epsilon Pi – Tau Delta Chapter, Greek Man of the Year; Sigma Nu at Northwestern, Chapter of the Year and IFC member Andrew Green of Northwestern Delta Tau Delta for being recognized as a member of the Highest Order of Excellence Society. Very well deserved!

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Dillo Day Bagels and Pizza

Yum! Free food!

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Greek Week 2015 – Winners

Congratulations to the winners of Greek Week 2015!

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