Sororities pull together to raise money for breast cancer

By Hailey Kurth

This weekend, sororities will get together to compete in women’s tugs, Pi Kappa Alpha’s annual philanthropy event.

Tugs isn’t just a game of tug-of-war, though. NIU tugs is a more serious, strategic version of the game.

“It’s a giant tug-of-war [where] you’re latched onto the rope instead of holding it with your hands,” said Hayley Rumph, junior business marketing major and president of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.

The competition raises money for breast cancer awareness. Anyone who wants to put a team together is welcome to do so, but typically only Greeks participate, said Michael Ford, junior corporate communications major and vice president of PKA.

“It’s always nice to open it up to other organizations because it is a philanthropy,” Rumph said. “If there were more competitors, then they would make more money.”

The playing field consists of two opposing pits that have trenches dug into the ground. There are eight girls on each side, with a rope in the middle, Ford said.

“In the middle, there’s a knot or a piece of tape, then you’ll have three little poles,” Ford said. “If you take the knot past your pole, that’s taking advantage. If you have the knot past your pole when time comes up, you’ve won that round of tugs. It’s best out of three.”

The first and second rounds are 12 minutes long. If the game goes into a third round, it lasts 15 minutes, Ford said. According to rules found on NIU Interfraternity Council’s tugs website, teams can also win by taking the full rope from their opponent before time is up.

Members of PKA split up and coach the girls.

“The girls are good sports about it,” Ford said. “They work hard. It’s for charity, so they keep that in the back of their minds. They practice three nights a week for about an hour and a half, sometimes four nights a week.”

The girls usually condition before the coaches let them get on the rope, Rumph said. They run and do core and arm exercises.

“After our coaches thought we were in shape, we got on the rope and started practicing and teaching the new girls actually how to tug,” Rumph said.

Ford said tugs takes place in the backyard of the PKA house, 1020 Hillcrest Drive. Tickets for Friday are $5, $7 on Saturday. Full weekend tickets are $10.

The Delta Zeta sorority won four years in a row and will attempt to win for the fifth time this year.

“I’m so proud of how hard we worked this year,” said Sammi Kroll, senior illustration major and first year tugger for Delta Zeta. “We are practicing a lot and taking it seriously, but at the same time we’re still able to have fun.”