Normally well-meaning, Christian young men and women compromise Christ-likeness to fulfill social club pledging traditions.
The above transformation works like this at ACU. During the rushing process, many club members act like Mother Teresa to prospective pledges, paying close attention to each who shows interest with the hopes that they will choose their club over the others. However, when pledges receive their bids to their clubs of choice, the members of the clubs turn into Mike Tysons.
You will address me as “sir,” weakling!
Did you, a sophomore, just greet me, a senior, on campus?! Uggh!
Drop down and give me 20!
But that hostility simply begins the tearing down process. Many clubs on campus relish the belief that they are the toughest on their pledges this side of Texas A&M; rumors range from running miles with a mouthful of Copenhagen, dousings with buckets of who-knows-what and ridiculing young ladies’ bodies.
Many club members tear down pledges in order that they might feel worthy of the “honor” of wearing a certain color scheme on Fridays.
This treatment flies in the face of godliness. What makes a certain five-week stretch in September a time when club members can throw away all decency in the name of tradition?
Each pledge deserves to be treated as a child of God. We do not mean to promote babying the pledges-by no means. Clubs exist on this campus whose pledging activities equal the others in difficulty but mean twice as much as other clubs’ traditions.
Clubs can offer meaningful, spiritual pledging activities and make the pledges earn their places.
But such clubs at ACU make up the minority.
Every club on campus needs to hear the hazing policy, as detailed in the Student Guide: “Hazing in any form is a serious offense and will receive the full range of disciplinary response, including suspension and dismissal from the university … Hazing includes (but is not limited to) whipping, striking, beating, sleep deprivation, consumption of food, liquid, alcoholic beverages, liquor or drugs [that] constitute an unreasonable risk of harm [or] adversely affects one’s mental or physical health or safety…”
Obviously, officials in charge of social clubs cannot monitor everything that occurs at pledging activities, and clubs will no doubt flirt with the opportunity to violate many of the above ordinances.
We challenge upperclassmen in social clubs this fall to remember who and whose they are as they direct pledging activities. They must treat each prospective club member as a person and a child of God. Asking pledges to act in a way contrary to their identity as children of God is wrong.