This year’s pledge class has been one of the largest in ACU’s history, despite an unclear number of students who have de-pledged.
As of Tuesday, a total of 392 students – 154 men and 238 women – are pledging social clubs. About 450 total students registered to pledge in mid-September.
Pledging can be a daunting process, but it hasn’t broken the spirits of Flame Stephanie Jordan, sophomore multimedia major from Sumter, N.C.
“It’s an interesting experience. It’s nice to get to know other people,” Jordan said. “If I didn’t think it was worth it, I wouldn’t be pledging.”
The pledging process can also be strenuous for club officers.
“I think this year’s pledge class is great,” said Meg Boutros, junior psychology major from Bourne and chaplain of Alpha Kai Omega. “It’s just crazy because it’s a lot bigger than previous years. But I just think it’s so great. I’m really excited.”
Boutros said that despite the demanding nature of the pledging process, the rewards it reaps make the experience worthwhile.
“I would say to look at pledging in a positive way,” Boutros said. “They are probably stressed and frustrated with all the activities going on, but those are the things that made me close to some of my best friends now. I would just encourage them to stick it out. Pledging helps build community because they go through that hard time together.”
Two students have already withdrawn from the pledging process, said Mark Jackson, associate director of student organizations and programs. While students de-pledge for a number of reasons, it’s not something clubs encourage.
“De-pledging can be a good thing if the student has a valid reason, like if something happens back home,” said Jackson. “It can be a bad thing because the club they accepted a bid for voted for them and wanted them in their club.”
What students may not realize is that de-pledging can affect students who were not chosen to participate in the pledging process.
“They may have taken the spot of someone else who really wanted to pledge,” Jackson said. “Some might say, ‘I didn’t really know the club that I chose, but that’s what rushing and teas are are all about.”
There is no question that pledging is challenging, but with the right perspective and club compatibility, it can be a rewarding experience.
“My advice would be to not take pledging too seriously – it’s supposed to be fun,” said Sarah Holley, junior social studies for secondary education major from Spring and chaplain for Zeta Rho. “Do your best but don’t let it stress you out. Be intentional about building relationships. Friendship is really what makes club great.”
Pledging numbers for Class of 2013
Alpha Kai Omega – 50
GATA – 56
Ko Jo Kai – 63
Sigma Theta Chi – 63
Zeta Rho – 6
Frater Sodalis – 5
Galaxy – 33
Gamma Sigma Phi – 57
Pi Kappa – 10
SubT-16 – 18
Trojans – 31