While Greek life at NU is tame compared to its state school counterparts, students are likely to gain a fair grasp of the Greek alphabet during their time at Northwestern. Greek life is a pretty big deal at Northwestern, with 30 percent of men joining fraternities and upwards of 40 percent of women joining sororities. Because of Northwestern’s delayed rush process (rush happens the first week of January, rather than in the fall), many students, who were originally opposed to the idea, pledge. Some houses center themselves around drinking and partying, but others pride themselves in their friendships and philanthropies. Bottom line: If you want to join a fraternity or sorority, there will be one to suit your needs. But at the end of the day, the choice is up to you. Either way, you are going to have friends who rush and those who don’t. And although many students do choose to rush, you can have a social life regardless.
One important aspect to keep in mind is that formal recruitment for guys and girls happens in the winter. This is good because it gives students a chance to make friends and grow accustomed to college life before deciding if Greek life is something they want to be a part of. For guys, the rush process is very informal; the fraternities offer Sunday night dinners during the fall, which give guys a chance to test out different houses to see what they like before accepting formal bids in the winter. For girls, the process is much more structured. Sororities and prospective new members (PNMs) go through a period of visiting specific houses. Through mutual selection, every PNM will be matched with a house. Northwestern does not allow hazing, so the rushing and pledging process should be fun and easy for anyone interested.