Peter Parker advised, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
No statement sticks closer to the ten elected presidents of ACU’s social clubs.
The presidents’ itinerary includes weekly meetings with Student Life, leading club meetings, organizing events, communicating with club sponsors, delegating tasks to their officers and the managing of anything and everything club-related.
“It’s quite a list,” said Galaxy President Landon Long, a senior, business management and political science major from Pampa.
“I send and receive an extraordinary amount of texts and emails,” said Frater Sodalis President Elliot Klar, senior environmental science major from Juda, WI.
As for all the inevitable issues and mishaps not included in the regular itinerary, the responsibility falls on them.
“To sum it up, I mostly make sure the club doesn’t fall apart, whatever that may mean for any particular moment,” said Alpha Ki Omega President Rachel Easley, senior psychology major from Belton.
How a president is able to deal with the people and the problems determines how successful he or she can lead a social club.
“If you are afraid to communicate, it will probably not go well,” said Mark Jackson, associate director of student organizations and programs.
Many found presidency to be an opportunity to utilize their God-given abilities.
Easley said she pursued the position only after many prayers and persuasion from club friends.
“I think it won me over because it’s something I thought I could do well,” she said. “The job description fits who I am and what I love to do.”
Unlike the other nine, Robert Hull, a senior piano performance major from Ripon, Calif. is a veteran to the position. This will be his second term serving as Pi Kappa President.
At the encouragement of the previous president, Hull ran for club president his junior year and was elected for the office despite pledging the previous semester.
“Towards the end of last year, people started asking me whether I was going to run for president again,” he said. “I was worn out from the year but I also knew that I would love the opportunity to serve again.”
Others were simply looking for a way to be further involved with their club.
“I saw a unique opportunity to lead,” said Sigma Theta Chi President Kayli Huddleston, senior business management from San Angelo. “I wanted to do more and make an impact on our club and all of these girls’ lives.”
But being chief is not all fun in games.
“The hardest part about being president is having to be the bad guy sometimes,” Huddleston said, “Or being the one responsible for giving people news they do not want to hear.”
For Sub T-16 President Nick Nolan, senior accounting major from North Richland Hills, being the chief confronter means confronting his own nerves.
“The hardest part is talking in front of people,” he said. “I am not a fan.”
The ten club chiefs are also learning to deal with defeat.
“As president, there’s no one else to turn to when failures happen,” Hull said. “It’s your responsibility. You just have to move on, acknowledge that there’s going to be failures along the way and do your best to learn from them.”
But all presidents agreed that the bonds made with club members are the most rewarding perks of presidency.
“I love having the opportunity to invest in these guys and allowing them to invest in me,” Long said. “I love the fact that I get to serve these guys each and every day, and I get so much joy out of that.”
With all the logistics and paper work required for events, a solid officer team is essential, they said.
“It’s difficult to distinguish my responsibilities from the responsibilities of my officer team, because we share our responsibilities like any team does,” Long said. “All too often, the president becomes the face that people on campus recognize, but if you are involved in a club or have been around any officers, you will realize that the president doesn’t do all the work.
Trojan President Cameron Cox, senior marketing major from Roscoe, agreed.
“My position is immaterial,” he said. “The rest of the officers and members could do it without me. I just try to lighten the load.”
With each new presidency comes a new platform and changes to implement new traditions or revise old ones.
For the women of Zeta Rho, President Kelsie Andrews, a senior nutrition major from San Antonio, said this means debuting a new club song and weekly Zeta Rho chapel.
“We are really working to build stronger bonds in our club by adding some fun activities throughout the semester to build unity as women in Christ,” she said.
Jackson said social clubs as a whole will see a change by incorporating more service activities this year.
“I want the student body, faculty and staff to know all of the incredible things our students do throughout the year,” he said. “We are going to promote that more and try and do several events together that focus around service.”
For the women’s social club presidents, this year’s pledging comes with the extra challenge of accommodating the almost 100 extra women signed up to pledge compared to last year.
ACU extended the number of bids a club can accept this year to 65.
“I think it will make pledging a lot more exciting,” Huddleston said. “It’s always fun to see pledges from all of the different clubs on campus. It might make things kind of chaotic at times, but I’m excited that so many people want to pledge simply because of the positive impact club can have.”
With the increase in female pledges, the clubs are making changes to the upcoming pledging season.
“We thought this was a good opportunity to re-evaluate some of our events and make sure they all had a specific purpose,” Huddleston said. “We are going to try to be much more intentional about making it clear to the girls why they are participating in certain events. I think it will make the whole process even more valuable to the pledges.”
With Bid Night just days away, the social club presidents offered a range of advice for the soon-to-be pledges.
“Have fun with it,” Nolan said. “If you have a bad attitude it can ruin the experience of pledging.”
“Pray often, take deep breaths and enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast,” Easley said.
“Don’t let yourself be consumed by pledging,” Hull said. “Those few weeks are going to demand a lot from you, so you need to plan and adjust accordingly.”
“Before Bid Night, write yourself a list of reasons why you want to pledge,” Andrews said. “Whenever you get stressed out or overwhelmed go back and read that list to help remind you why you are doing what you are doing and regain focus.”
“Find joy in looking out for your pledge class because club isn’t about you,” Long said. “It’s about unity and raising up an entire group of individuals.”
“Get some sleep,” Klar said. “Friday evening is going to be a long night.”
“Take full advantage of the McDonald’s, Taco Bueno, and Whataburger drive-thrus,” Huddleston said. “They will sustain you on those late nights and early mornings.”