Policy regarding Fraternity and Sorority Recruitment for First-Year Students from Northwestern University Student Handbook (.pdf):
Northwestern University restricts first-year students from joining Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Association, or Panhellenic Association member groups until winter quarter. Specifically, during the fall quarter, freshmen are not permitted to enter fraternity or sorority houses during Wildcat Welcome and the subsequent first two weeks of classes unless it is to visit a close relative or for academic purposes. After the Sunday of the third week, freshmen are permitted to enter chapter houses unless alcohol is present. Check with the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, or Panhellenic Association for additional policies and procedures.
During fall quarter no fraternity or sorority may offer an invitation of membership to any first-year student. A first-year student may accept an invitation of membership from a chapter only after the start of winter quarter. Upper class students and transfer students are permitted to participate in fall, winter, or spring quarter informal recruitment programs sponsored by the chapters. Alcohol is not permitted at any recruitment or new member/pledge activity. In addition, inviting freshmen to events on and off-campus is also prohibited.
The following updates to the policy have been made, effective fall 2010 (dates listed are for fall 2013):
The Freshman Freeze has been shorted by one week, and will now end at 5:00 pm on Sunday, October 6th.
This is a significant change in the policy. This policy was originated by the faculty in the late 1980s and many of those individuals still work at Northwestern University. The University determined that they would shorten the policy for one week at this time. This policy will be revisited in 3 years by the University. At that point, the University will review the length and other details about the policy. In the mean time, it is crucial that all chapters adhere to the Freeze and University policies. Any policy violations will result in the policy not being shortened in the future.
Chapters shall be allowed to market upcoming events starting on Saturday, September 28th. These advertisements must be approved by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
This applies to all forms of marketing, including but not limited to listserv emails, flyers, social media (Evites, Facebook events, Twitter, etc.) and chalk. All flyers and posters that will be distributed on campus September 28th-October 6th must be submitted to OFSL by Wednesday, September 25th at Noon. Failure to get flyers and posters approved will result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.
The councils have been allowed to advertise Fraternity & Sorority Life at Northwestern during Wildcat Welcome Week.
All four councils will sponsor educational programs during Wildcat Welcome Week for potential members. In addition, councils will present at munchies, hall meetings, activity fairs, and distribute flyers and posters. Our goal is to present a positive portrayal of our community and attempt to instill in the freshmen a more accurate picture of everything we have to offer.
Chapter sponsored philanthropy & educational events will not be allowed September 16th-October 6th.
While the policy has been adjusted, the policy has not changed when it comes to chapter-sponsored programs, philanthropy events, educational programs, and any other open events. Freshmen are not permitted to attend any event during the freeze period. As in previous years, chapters are only allowed to sponsor closed, invite-only events (on and off-campus) as long as they are following Inter/national organization, University, and Council policies and freshmen are not present. Please contact OFSL Staff if you have any questions.
Freshmen are not allowed to enter IFC and Panhellenic Facilities during the Freshmen Freeze.
Like previous years, freshmen may not enter a chapter facility or be on the premise of any on or off-campus (apartments, houses, etc.) fraternity or sorority house during the freeze period. The chapter facility/premise includes but is not limited to front lawns, patios, decks, back yards, parking lots, or any other part of the facility associated with a fraternity or sorority at Northwestern University.