Day one of Tugs ends, three teams advance


Members of Sigma Alpha Mu compete against Delta Chi and Phi Kappa Sigma Monday at the annual Tugs competition held adjacent to Huskie Stadium.

By Rachel Scaman

Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Nu and Phi Kappa Theta ended the first day of Tugs with wins.

The Tugs competition between the social fraternities began Monday in front of Huskie Stadium.

Tugs is a weeklong tug-of-war competition between 10 fraternities. Each game has three rounds. The first two rounds last 15 minutes and the last round has no time limit. The first round is played with nine tuggers on each team, and the second round begins with new tuggers from the same fraternities. When it’s time for the third round the fraternity members switch places again so the beginning tuggers are once more competing.

“Tugs is a great way for the Greek community to come together and have a little friendly competition,” said Adam Wachowiak, vice president of community events for the Interfraternity Council (IFC). “It gives them a sense of unity.”

The first game set Delta Chi and Phi Kappa Sigma against Sigma Alpha Mu. Delta Chi and Phi Kappa Sigma won the first round, then Sigma Alpha Mu came back to win the last two rounds.

Sigma Nu won the first two rounds against Phi Kappa Psi within an hour.

The last game was between Phi Kappa Theta and Omega Delta, with Phi Kappa Theta winning a tie-breaker.

“[The tuggers] get really into it,” said Cithlaly Dudic, junior environmental science major. ”It’s much more fun to watch when they want to win.”

Sigma Alpha Mu started off in November with conditioning, said Joe Konkel, a junior and Sigma Alpha Mu member.

Koanken said the fraternity practiced all the time during the week up until the first day of Tugs.

“Tugs has been around since the 1960s here at Northern Illinois,” said Trevor Morrison, vice president of finance for the IFC.

Morrison said not only do the fraternities hold Tugs every year, but the social sororities on campus participate in their own Tugs competition in the fall.

Freshman nursing major Ivelisse Soto tugged for Alpha Phi this year.

“It’s so much fun and it’s a great bonding opportunity for me and my sisters,” Soto said. “Each year, Tugs costs around $11,000.”

Each team has a coach on the sidelines constantly telling participants what to do during the competition.

“There are always people screaming at us from the stands, but we just don’t pay attention to anything else except tugging,” said Ethan Brodsky, freshman elementary education major and Delta Chi member. “You just can’t think about all the pain, it distracts you.”

Koanken said winning tugs means all his hard work has paid off.

“It tells all the other fraternities that we are out there and we came to win,” Brodsky said.

Brodsky said Phi Sigma Kappa won last year’s tugs competition.

For each day there is a $5 admission fee. The last day of competition, Saturday, has a $10 admission fee.

Today’s continuation of the competition will start at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Huskie Stadium.