Northwest is full of different traditions and opportunities for students of all ages. With all sorts of activities going on at any given time around campus, many students don’t need to leave to find some fun. From taking pictures with Bobby Bearcat in the Union to taking a dip in Colden Pond there are many ways to stay socially active.
Attend a Northwest football game. Sure, going to a football game is part of college culture across the country, but there is a reason we’ve coined the name “Title Town.” The Bearcats are known for winning six NCAA Division II championships and either won or shared 27 MIAA titles. According to the NCAA, Northwest ranked in the top ten division two schools for home game attendance in 2017. Attending their first championship is something new Bearcats never forget.
“One of my favorite memories at Northwest is the championship football game my freshman year,” junior Josh Munden said. “There is nothing like seeing a bunch of college students drive from all over the place to one area in Kansas City to watch their team go for the title.”
“At the end of the day, it wasn’t just one person who one the game. Northwest made it feel like we all won the game,” Munden said. “Even though we have a ton of different departments, after watching our team win the national championship, I felt like we were really connected as a campus.”
Even if championships isn’t a possibility, attending any game has its benefits.
“I think every student should go to every athletic event at least once,” senior Andrew Cangelose said. “The Northwest family is strong and the atmosphere is so energetic.”
Get involved with Homecoming. Homecoming is a popular event with its own traditions, such as Walk Out Day, the parade, canned art and banner competitions. Many organizations both on and off campus create floats or walk in the parade. With a week of events leading up to the big game, this weekend brings together Bearcats from all over to reminisce over days gone by and for future graduates to celebrate.
Discover the different trees on campus. Northwest has more than 150 species of trees. The University has also been the state arboretum in Missouri since 1993. This links back to a tradition where every incoming class has a tree planted in their honor. The trees are scattered around the campus on three different trails: the tower trail, the gaunt trail and the chautauqua trail.
“I would say that everyone should look back at the tree that was planted for them at the beginning of their freshman year,” sophomore Colin Uhlenkamp said. “It’s cool to see how it has grown and think back to all the memories you made at Northwest.”
During the fall the trees turn various shades of red, orange and brown, making for Instagram worthy pictures.
Go Greek. Northwest’s Greek Life functions a little different than at bigger schools. Rush and Recruitment happen after classes start, giving prospective new members a chance to scope out the right chapter for them. Between the five sororities, and six fraternities, the Greek community holds events throughout the first two weeks of class for people to get to know current members.
Interact with the Northwest parody accounts. Between the squirrels and bedbugs, the animal parody accounts can run a bit wild. The squirrels twitter has been around since 2013 and is self proclaimed to be “nutty.” The bedbugs account, after a bedbug situation in Colden Hall, has been around since 2017. While neither reflect the views of Northwest it’s a fun way to see the local gossip.
Jump into Colden Pond. Located next to Colden Hall, Colden Pond is a popular hang out on fair weather days. There, students can sit by the water and study, have a date or even go fishing. Many also use Colden Pond as a spot for fundraisers such as the Polar Bear Plunge for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Colden Pond has also been the destination of many Northwest lovebirds, and often booked throughout the summer for weddings.
Go to a SAC concert. The Student Activities Council’s sole purpose to plan and organize fun activities for students. Its biggest project is putting together a concert in the fall. With artists such as Chance Rice in 2017 and Hunter Hayes in 2016, these concerts bring a sense of community.
This is just a short list of possible ways to embrace the unique traditions of Northwest, however there are plenty of other ways to make college a memorable experience. For most students the best way to enjoy college is to branch out of their comfort zone. Northwest offers more than 200 recognized organizations there is something for everyone to try.
“College is a great time to find what you enjoy,” Letuli said. “You never know what you’ll like or amazing people you’ll meet. Don’t worry about what people will say or think because it’s all about your own experience.”