Student life @Northwestern
The undergraduates have a number of traditions: Painting The Rock (originally a fountain donated by the Class of 1902) is a way to advertise, for example, campus organizations, events in Greek life, student groups, and university-wide events. Dance Marathon, a 30-hour philanthropic event, has raised more than 13 million dollars in its history for various children's charities. Primal Scream is held at 9 p.m. on the Sunday before finals week every quarter; students lean out of windows or gather in courtyards and scream. Armadillo Day, or, more popularly, Dillo Day, a day of music and food, is held on Northwestern's Lakefill every Spring on the weekend after Memorial Day. And in one of the University's newer traditions, every year during freshman orientation, known as Wildcat Welcome, freshmen and transfer students pass through Weber Arch to the loud huzzahs of upperclassmen and the music of the University Marching Band.
There are traditions long associated with football games. Students growl like wildcats when the opposing team controls the ball, while simulating a paw with their hands. They will also jingle keys at the beginning of each kickoff. In the past, before the tradition was discontinued, students would throw marshmallows during games. The Clock Tower at the Rebecca Crown Center glows purple, instead of its usual white, after a winning game, thereby proclaiming the happy news. The Clock Tower remains purple until a loss or until the end of the sports season. Whereas formerly the Clock Tower was lighted only for football victories, wins for men's basketball and women's lacrosse now merit commemoration as well; important victories in other sports may also prompt an empurpling.
Two annual productions are especially notable: the Waa-Mu show, and the Dolphin show. Waa-Mu is an original musical, written and produced almost entirely by students.Children's theater is represented on campus by Griffin's Tale and Purple Crayon Players. Its umbrella organization—the Student Theatre Coalition, or StuCo, organizes nine student theatre companies, multiple performance groups and more than sixty independent productions each year. Many Northwestern alumni have used these productions as stepping stones to successful television and film careers. Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company, for example, which began life in the Great Room in Jones Residential College, was founded in 1988 by several alumni, including David Schwimmer; in 2011, it won the Regional Tony Award.
Northwestern also has a variety of improvisational groups. The improv and sketch comedy group Mee-Ow created by Paul Warshauer and Josh Lazar in 1974 lists Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ana Gasteyer, Dermot Mulroney, Seth Meyers, John Cameron Mitchell, and Kristen Schaal among its alumni.
The undergraduate students maintain twelve a cappella groups, including THUNK a cappella, the Northwestern Undertones, ShireiNU A Cappella, and Purple Haze.
Northwestern's Mock Trial team is ranked 7th in the country out of roughly 600 teams.
The Northwestern Debate Society is a policy debate team which has won fifteen National Debate Tournaments, the highest number of any university. Famous alumni of the society include Erwin Chemerinsky and Elliot Mincberg, the latter senior vice president, general counsel and legal director of People For the American Way. Scott Deatherage, the head coach, was named "Coach of the Nineties".
The Daily Northwestern is the main student newspaper. Established in 1881, and published on weekdays during the academic year, it is directed entirely by undergraduates. Although it serves the Northwestern community, the Daily has no business ties to the university, being supported wholly by advertisers. It is owned by the Students Publishing Company. North by Northwestern is an online undergraduate magazine, having been established in September 2006 by students at the Medill School of Journalism. Published on weekdays, it consists of updates on news stories and special events inserted throughout the day and on weekends. North by Northwestern also publishes a quarterly print magazine. Syllabus is the undergraduate yearbook. First published in 1885, the yearbook is an epitome of that year's events at Northwestern. Published by Students Publishing Company and edited by Northwestern students, it is distributed in late May. Northwestern Flipside is an undergraduate satirical magazine. Founded in 2009, The Flipsidepublishes a weekly issue both in print and online. Helicon is the university's undergraduate literary magazine. Started in 1979, it is published twice a year, a web issue in the Winter, and a print issue with a web complement in the Spring. The Protest is Northwestern's quarterly social justice magazine. The Northwestern division of Student Multicultural Affairs also supports publications such as NUAsian, a magazine and blog about Asian and Asian-American culture and the issues facing Asians and Asian-Americans, Ahora, a magazine about Hispanic and Latino/a culture and campus life, BlackBoard Magazine about African-American life, and Al Bayan published by the Northwestern Muslim-cultural Student Association.
The Northwestern University Law Review is a scholarly legal publication and student organization at Northwestern University School of Law. The Law Review's primary purpose is to publish a journal of broad legal scholarship. The Law Review publishes four issues each year. Student editors make the editorial and organizational decisions and select articles submitted by professors, judges, and practitioners, as well as student pieces. The Law Review recently extended its presence onto the web, and now publishes scholarly pieces weekly on the Colloquy. The Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property is a law review published by an independent student organization at Northwestern University School of Law. Its Bluebook abbreviation is Nw. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. The current editor-in-chief is Aisha Lavinier.
The Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review is a scholarly legal publication published annually by an editorial board of Northwestern University undergraduates. The journal's mission is to publish interdisciplinary legal research, drawing from fields such as history, literature, economics, philosophy, and art. Founded in 2008, the journal features articles by professors, law students, practitioners, and undergraduates. The journal is funded by the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies and the Office of the Provost.
Sherman Ave is a humor website that went online in January 2011. The website often publishes content about Northwestern student life, and most of its staff writers are current Northwestern undergraduates writing under various pseudonyms. The website is popular among students for its interviews of prominent campus figures, its "Freshman Guide", its live-tweeting coverage of football games, and its satiric campaign in autumn 2012 to end the Vanderbilt University football team's custom of clubbing baby seals.
Politics & Policy is dedicated to the analysis of current events and public policy. Begun in 2010 by students in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, and Medill School of Journalism, Politics & Policy reaches students on more than 250 college campuses around the world. Run entirely by undergraduates, Politics & Policy is published several times a week and features material ranging from short summaries of events to extended research pieces. The publication is financed in part by the Buffett Center.
Northwestern Business Review is the campus source for business news. Founded in 2005, Northwestern Business Review has an online presence as well as a quarterly print schedule.
TriQuarterly Online (formerly TriQuarterly) is a literary magazine published twice a year featuring poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, literary essays, reviews, a blog, and graphic art.
Radio, film, and television
WNUR (89.3 FM) is a 7,200-watt radio station that broadcasts to Chicago and its northern suburbs. WNUR's programming consists of music – jazz, classical, rock – varsity sports (football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, and women's lacrosse), breaking news on weekdays, politics, current events, and literature.
Studio 22 is Northwestern's student-run production company which produces roughly ten films per year. The organization, for example, financed the first film Zach Braff directed and has produced many films in which students who would go on to successful acting careers performed, including Zach Gilford of the television show Friday Night Lights.
Applause for a Cause is currently the only student-run production company in the nation to create a feature-length film for charity. It was founded at Northwestern in 2010 and has raised over $5,000 for various local and national organizations across the United States to date.
Northwestern News Network is the student television news and sports network at Northwestern, serving Northwestern and Evanston. Its studios and newsroom are located on the fourth floor of the McCormick Tribune Center on Northwestern's Evanston campus. NNN is funded by the Medill School of Journalism.
Northwestern is a charter member of the Big Ten Conference. It is the only private institution in the conference, and has by far the smallest undergraduate enrollment (the next-smallest member, Iowa, is almost three times as large, with almost 22,000 undergraduates).
Northwestern fields 19 intercollegiate athletic teams (8 men's and 11 women's) in addition to numerous club sports.The women's lacrosse team won five consecutive NCAA national championships between 2005 and 2009, went undefeated in 2005 and 2009, added more NCAA championships in 2011 and 2012, giving them 7 NCAA championships in 8 years, and holds several scoring records. The men's basketball team is recognized by the Helms Athletic Foundation as the 1931 National Champion. In the 2010–11 school year, the Wildcats had one national championship, 12 teams in postseason play, 20 All-Americans, two CoSIDA Academic All-American selections, 8 CoSIDA Academic All0District selections, 1 conference Coach of the Year and Player of the Year, 53 All-Conference and a record 201 Academic All-Big Ten athletes. Overall, 12 of Northwestern's 19 varsity programs had NCAA or bowl postseason appearances.
The football team plays at Ryan Field (formerly known as Dyche Stadium); the basketball, wrestling, and volleyball teams play at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Northwestern's athletic teams are nicknamed the Wildcats. Before 1924, they were known as "The Purple" and unofficially as "The Fighting Methodists." The name Wildcats was bestowed upon the university in 1924 by Wallace Abbey, a writer for the Chicago Daily Tribune who wrote that even in a loss to the University of Chicago, "Football players had not come down from Evanston; wildcats would be a name better suited to [Coach Glenn] Thistletwaite's boys." The name was so popular that university board members made "wildcats" the official nickname just months later. In 1972, the student body voted to change the official nickname from "Wildcats" to "Purple Haze" but the new name never stuck.
The mascot of Northwestern Athletics is Willie the Wildcat. The first mascot, however, was a live, caged bear cub from the Lincoln Park Zoo named Furpaw who was brought to the playing field on the day of a game to greet the fans. But after a losing season, the team, deciding that Furpaw was to blame for its misfortune, banished him from campus forever. Willie the Wildcat made his debut in 1933 first as a logo, and then in three dimensions in 1947, when members of the Alpha Delta fraternity dressed as wildcats during a Homecoming Parade. The Northwestern University Marching Band (NUMB) performs at all home football games and leads cheers in the student section and performs the Alma Mater at the end of the game.
Northwestern's football team has made 73 appearances in the top 10 of the AP poll since 1936 (including 5 at #1) and has won eight Big Ten conference championships since 1903. At one time, Northwestern had the longest losing streak in Division I-A, losing 34 consecutive games between 1979 and 1982. They did not appear in a bowl game after 1949 until the 1996 Rose Bowl. The team did not win a bowl since the 1949 Rose Bowl until the 2013 Gator Bowl. Following the sudden death of football coach Randy Walker in 2006, 31-year-old former All-American Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald assumed the position, becoming the youngest Division I FBS coach at the time.
In 1998, two former Northwestern basketball players were charged and convicted for sports bribery as a result of being paid to shave points in games against three other Big Ten schools during the 1995 season.The football team became embroiled in a different betting scandal later that year when federal prosecutors indicted four former players for perjury related to betting on their own games. In August 2001, Rashidi Wheeler, a senior safety, collapsed and died during practice from an asthma attack. An autopsy revealed that he had ephedrine, a stimulant banned by the NCAA, in his system, which prompted Northwestern to investigate the prevalence of stimulants and other banned substances across all of its athletic programs. In 2006, the Northwestern women's soccer team was suspended and coach Jenny Haigh resigned following the release of images of alleged hazing.