Sigma Nu wins 2022 IFC Men’s Tugs Championship

The fraternity beat runner-up Phi Sigma Kappa in the final round of the tug-of-war bracket on Saturday


Zohair Khan

Sigma Nu second rope tuggers secure the white center marker on the rope during their tug-of-war match against Phi Sigma Kappa on Saturday.

By Jordan Radloff

A crowd of NIU students, staff and alumni gathered Saturday afternoon to cheer on the finalists of the 2022 InterFraternity Council Men’s Tugs competition. Sigma Nu took home the first place trophy after defeating Phi Sigma Kappa in two rounds of tug-of-war.

Prior to the championship round, the battle for the third place ended with a victory for Phi Kappa Psi over Alpha Sigma Phi, who took fourth place in the tournament. Tau Kappa Epsilon took fifth place and Delta Chi was placed in sixth after one of their team members was injured earlier in the week.

Tuggers and flag-bearers for Sigma Nu and Phi Sigma Kappa entered the pit at 3:30 p.m. Fans cheered them on, filling the bleachers and the surrounding fences. IFC board members recognized the university and other supporters for their help in working with Greek Life to put on the event in support of Safe Passage, DeKalb County’s domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center.

The IFC  raised $10,000 for Safe Passage through the event according to IFC Tugs organizer Mason Deyo. Nearly 700 tickets were sold throughout the week of matchups.

“We chose Safe Passage to partner with because this IFC board believes sexual assault is a rampant issue campus wide,” Deyo said. “We discussed the idea with the Panhellenic President and our advisors and they believed it was an excellent local partner to help.”

Well-known faces in the NIU community made an appearance at the event, including NIU President Lisa Freeman and head football coach Thomas Hammock.

“Tugs is a really great IFC tradition and it’s also an NIU tradition,” Freeman said. “It’s traditions like these that help students connect to each other and to the community. Only a few of the teams are going to go home with trophies, but everyone here has won because of the leadership lessons they learned and the memories they created today.”

After the singing of the National Anthem, the two fraternities started the duel with their first-rope tuggers on the rope. Both teams were deadlocked for the entire first round until the 15-minute timer counted down to zero. Sigma Nu was able to inch out the first win with the rope’s center marker ending on their side.

Before the second round started, Phi Sigma Kappa held a moment of silence to honor their fraternity brother, Tyler Madison, who tragically passed away on campus in February. Family members of Madison were in attendance after being invited to the event by the fraternity and the IFC as guests of honor.

Second-rope tuggers for each team took to the pit to commence the second round with Sigma Nu in the lead. The second tug-of-war match was more decisive in favor of Sigma Nu as they were able to pull the rope steadily to their side, securing the center rope marker and finally causing Alpha Sigma Phi to lose their grip on the rope.

Sigma Nu supporters erupted with cheers as the team celebrated their victory and were honored with the 2022 IFC Men’s Tugs first-place trophy.

“We came out here to prove a point today,” Sigma Nu NIU chapter president Matthew Niziolek said. “Today we proved that we are not to be messed with, that we are the top spot in the Tugs tournament.”

Editors note: The championship match was between Sigma Nu and Phi Sigma Kappa, not Alpha Sigma Phi.

Members of Sigma Nu hoist up the 2022 IFC Men’s Tugs first place trophy after defeating Phi Sigma Kappa Saturday. (Zohair Khan)