Fall 2020 Fraternity & Sorority Housing FAQ

Fraternity & Sorority Life is currently working in partnership with the university and house corporation boards to provide transparency of information about Fall 2020 fraternity and sorority housing at Northwestern University.  All FAQs on this page apply to students who are contracted to live in fraternity and sorority housing for Fall 2020.

Will my fraternity/sorority house be open this Fall?

Yes, we are planning that fraternity and sorority houses will be open this Fall for students to return to live on campus, guided by Northwestern’s Phased Return to Campus plan.

Will I be able to access my fraternity/sorority house if I’m not living in it this Fall?

To comply with CDC and state public health guidance, there may be limits in areas for social engagement and gatherings in your house and across campus, as many common spaces will have reduced capacity limits and/or other restrictions.


How will this impact the fees my fraternity/sorority collects for housing?

Students should contact their fraternity/sorority House Corporation Board with questions regarding their individual contracts, meal plans, and parlor fees.

If I’m a rising second year student, am I required to live in my house to meet the university’s two-year residency requirement?

While all fraternity and sorority students may be still bound to any fraternity/sorority organizational live-in requirements and to their housing contract, Northwestern is waiving the two-year live-on requirement for the 20-21 year. Each fraternity/sorority house corporation board, house director, and/or chapter housing executive officer will communicate, if not already, requirements, procedures, expectations and options for living in the fraternity/sorority house and the terms of housing contracts with the fraternity/sorority.

What if I do not want to return to Northwestern in person for classes for the Fall 2020?

Students will have the opportunity to pursue a remote plan of study for the Fall 2020. However, it will be the responsibility of each student to work with their House Corporation, House Director and/or Chapter Housing Executive officer(s) to be released from their housing contract prior to pursuing remote plan of study for the Fall 2020.

What if I do not want to return for the Fall 2020 to my fraternity/sorority house?

Please check with your House Director, House Corporation, or chapter exec representative to determine your options. Each individual House Corporation handles contract with residents.

What if I need support finding housing off campus for the upcoming Fall 2020 quarter?

Northwestern University Off-Campus Life has partnered with Places4Students.com, a website that provides off-campus housing solutions. This service is FREE for students to use for finding a place to live off-campus, posting a sublet or finding a roommate.


What if I need support finding housing on-campus (not in a fraternity/sorority house) for the upcoming Fall 2020 quarter?

After July 6, Residential Services will reach out to students who may still need housing to give instructions on the next steps in the process, which include submitting a housing application and/or an intent form.  Second-year students will receive their original housing selection lottery number to participate in the room selection process. Third-year and fourth-year students will receive a lottery number to participate in the process.

How will my fraternity/sorority handle students who live in the house and need to self-isolate?

House Corporations/House Directors/House Managers will work with Northwestern University Residential Services to support any on-campus students’ need for self-isolation.  However, given the realities of this global pandemic, we expect there will be students who are both symptomatic and asymptomatic who will test positive for the virus. We anticipate that there will be cases of COVID-19 on campus despite our best efforts to control the spread of the virus and the University cannot guarantee a virus-free environment. Every student and family should consider this as they decide to return to campus.

It is the University’s sincere intention to provide the appropriate healthcare and isolation measures for students living in on-campus residences with confirmed exposure to the virus or who have tested positive to the virus. We do, however, have a limited number of beds on campus and limited opportunities for off-campus, non-University facilities as quarantine sites. This could be a significant constraint if the situation required a number of isolation beds at any one time. Should that occur, Residential Services may require local, Chicago-land students living in on-campus residences to safely return to their families to isolate at home.


What are additional measures being taken to help reduce health risks for students living in fraternity/sorority houses?

Quadrangles, the organization that makes up the collection of House Corporation Boards is working in partnership with Northwestern University through the Fraternity & Sorority Life COVID-19 Housing Planning Group to discuss and plan additional fraternity/sorority operations in four areas; occupancy management, dining services, cleaning and building services, and the student experience.  Your House Corporation Board will be in touch with further information around the details of these plans and how harm will be reduced.