Barreling down a slippery snow-covered slope on your backside and colliding into a cluster of trash cans might sound a little like an embarrassing tumble on the way to class. However, for the Greeks on NMU’s campus, this event, christened Human Bowling, is just another part of Greek Week.
“We have garbage cans set out like bowling pins,” said Anna Kortier, a sophomore member of Kappa Beta Gamma and secretary of Greek Council. “You sled down the hill and whoever knocks down the most gets the most points.”
Kortier, along with the rest of her fellow Greeks on NMU’s campus, will host Greek Week Jan. 23-26, with different events held each day. While Greek Week is held every winter and spring, the events differ every semester. Events this year include the Wear Your Greek Letters Day, a pop culture Quiz Bowl, Human Bowling, Sledding Day and a Greek formal. Each activity is co-hosted by a fraternity and sorority, Kortier added, maximizing the effort to get as many people as possible involved.
Rory Goosen, a junior and member of Kappa Sigma Psi, has participated in Greek Week for the past two years with his fraternity.
“We’ve been having it every semester and we were involved with it last semester,” Goosen said. “It was actually a lot of fun just getting everyone together to have a good time.”
Goosen added that his favorite part of Greek Week is the formal, which concludes the week’s events. This semester’s “P.S. I Love You” themed formal will feature dancing, a DJ, a Greek slideshow, appetizers and a bar for those of age. A shuttle will be available to give participants a sober ride home.
Dave Bonsall, the director of the Center for Student Enrichment and the adviser of the Greek Council, said the idea of Greek Week is a long-standing tradition of friendly competition.
“I came to Northern as a student in 1969,” Bonsall said. “And when I got here, Greek Week was very much alive.”
Every Greek Week event this semester besides the formal, which is by invitation only, is open to the general student body. Although the Greek community is always asking for more participation at its Greek Week events, the general NMU student body sometimes seems reluctant to attend.
Goosen said he blames low participation from the student body on a negative image of fraternities at Northern.
“I think that’s probably the feeling on campus,” Goosen said. “We want people to come out and have fun and see that we’re not like the Hollywood fraternity that’s drunk and wasted all the time and hazes kids; we’re not about that at all.”
“I think the general population has a very low opinion of the Greeks on campus,” he added. “Some universities aren’t very Greek-friendly, while at other universities, Greeks are the main focus of student life. Northern’s campus just isn’t one where it’s a main focus.”
Andrew Halcomb, a freshman athletic training major, said he doesn’t plan on attending Greek Week even though he has social ties in NMU fraternities.
“I have a lot of Greek friends,” Halcomb said. “But it’s just not something I’m into.”
Kortier, on the other hand, said that while non-Greeks do participate in Greek Week, they are always hoping for more involvement.
“Random people sometimes stop by and have a good time with it,” she said. “[But] we could always see more.”
Students interested in getting more information on Greek Week and NMU Greek life can contact Bonsall at the Center for Student Enrichment office. Students can also look out for student announcements and recruitment fliers, which are regularly posted on-campus.