Andrew Rock, News Editor
Everyone sees the tribe banners in the Caf and the numerous pledges and actives wearing the paraphernalia of their respective group. It seems that everyone on campus is either in an organization or trying to join one. However, there are numerous independent students on campus who thrive without a tribe.
While the mainstream organizations offer activities, some independent students (henceforth “independents”) chose to plan their own events. A student who wished to remain anonymous has organized numerous events focusing on independents over the past two years.
Most notably, he organized the “Indie Formal,” an event where independent students can have the experience of taking someone to a dance. It was a low-key event with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
The anonymous organizer has since changed the name of the event from “Indie Formal” to “A Formal,” on the grounds that the event doesn’t represent every independent.
He organized it for numerous reasons, but partially because there’s “not really private events for indies.” He stressed that this was no one’s fault, but that he wanted to organize something that that people could participate in regardless of affiliation.
Anonymous said that he opted for independence freshman year due to an intense academic schedule and general lack of interest in rushing a club. “I’m glad to be an independent,” he said.
He emphasized that by showing initiative, students can create cool events and make their own fun. He wanted people to “realize that you can organize things, make things happen,” and plan events all on their own. My source was emphatic that students who chose to do this should be mindful of safety and university rules.
Another independent student is Megan Cole, a Junior Christian Studies major. She said that she had considered rushing a tribe, but decided it wasn’t for her. She recommends General Rush, however.
Cole said that she sees plenty of ways for students to get involved in campus communities without joining a club or tribe.
She said there are “so many other organizations” on campus for people to join. Cole cited the Baptist Student Union, Reformed University Fellowship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and other opportunities such as working on campus in places like the Writing Center. She also emphasized the importance of becoming involved in a local church and fellowshipping with other believers.
Cole talked about the flexibility and freedom of independent life on campus. She said that she enjoys not having to conform the requirements of a tribe, and instead opts to do as she sees fit and plan get-togethers with her friends. This is similar to the message of my anonymous source, who said that people can invent their own fun.
Cole advised people to not be confined to a label, whether they are independent or affiliated.
Instead, she said people should feel free to do what suits their needs and situation, whether this means joining a club or becoming a de facto independent.
People chose the indie life for any number of reasons-whether it’s scheduling, academics, or just a desire to be themselves. What everyone seemed to agree on was that people should do what works best for their situation.