Male and female interaction at Northwestern is not always an easy process with certain days deemed off limits for dorm visitation. For some, developing friendships with members of the opposite sex can be difficult, and icebreakers designed to build relationships between genders are few and far between. Not even ring-before-spring romantic relationships, but real solid friendships between the two sexes.
Brother-sister wings throughout campus are the perfect remedy for this co-ed social inadequacy. Sophomore R.A. Jake Vermeer of 2nd East Colenbrander Hall is one of the several R.A.’s who participates in a brother-sister wing.
“It’s our job as R.A’s to connect students with the web of Northwestern and one of those things could be a sister wing event. These activities help build relationship and not just romantic ones,” Vermeer said.
At the other end of this brother-sister wing is junior R.A. Mica Graves of 3rd East Fern-Smith Hall. Graves, like Vermeer, believes in the importance of community at Northwestern, and that it should not be limited to just romantic connectivity.
“It is definitely hard to just be friends with guys without people thinking something more is going on,” Graves said. “That is why a brother sister wing event is a great opportunity for people to get to know each other on a friendship level.”
Between the two of them, ideas are shared, and events are planned. Ideas range from group bowling nights, outdoor games, restaurant outings and much more.
“Last weekend we had root beer floats and a movie in Colenbrander, and I felt like it went over really well,”Vermeer said. “We had it in the basement where there was a wide variety of games and activities.”
For Graves, a fresh outlook on some aspects of college life is refreshing.
“Guys bring a new perspective to things. Branching out is good for you. There are so many stereotypes on this campus so to be able to truly get to know the guys on campus is a rewarding experience,” Graves said.
While male and female interaction is not allowed within dormitories on Monday and Tuesday nights at Northwestern, co-ed events such as brother and sister wing activities are available for those that would like to socialize with members of the opposite sex in a comfortable, relaxed and casual setting.
“I really love people and getting to know them. I just felt like this is a great opportunity to get to know people that I didn’t know before,” Graves said.