By Jonathan Smith, Managing Editor
The five-star social club ranking system is under evaluation, and Amanda Spell, coordinator of student organizations and activities, said an updated or different system might not be in place until the spring.
Spell said the re-evaluation is less of a condemnation of the system and more of the process that many aspects of pledging and social clubs go through every year.
“We’re looking at it just like we do all aspects of pledging,” Spell said. “We evaluate them after we get through a season.”
Spell named two criticisms some have made about the current system: it didn’t evaluate enough aspects, and students’ opinions weren’t taken into account.
“People did not feel like it was comprehensive,” Spell said, explaining that some thought such aspects of clubs as Sing Song performances and intramural sports should be included in the rankings.
To solve the student-feedback complaint, Spell said meetings will begin Nov. 10 in which at least one representative from each club will be present to discuss the system. She said she expects changes to be made but that she isn’t sure how significant those will be.
Spell and Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life, stressed in e-mails sent to the Optimist and to social club officers and sponsors that the club system would not be ‘dropped,’ as the newspaper characterized in a headline last week.
“I feel that the article [was mistitled and does not portray something that is fully true,” Spell wrote in an e-mail to social club officers. She added that the new sytem “probably” would look different next year.
In an interview, Spell highlighted one aspect of the five-star system that she thought was important: the fact that each club can attain the same level.
“It’s always good to have a standard for similar organizations to reach and at the same time have something that all clubs can achieve the same level,” Spell said. “It’s not a competition between the clubs because every club can be a five-star.”
Cody Blair, president of Gamma Sigma Phi, said he wasn’t surprised about the decision to re-evaluate the system when the club presidents were told at their weekly meeting with Spell.
“When I heard about it, it didn’t surprise me too much because it almost seems like every year the standards are being changed,” Blair said.
Some club presidents said they liked having some sort of evaluation system but questioned the format of the current rankings.
“I think an evaluation of what we’re doing as a club that is presented to us is always a good thing,” Blair said. “Whether that needs to be in a rating system form I’m not so sure about.”
Mike Dockery, president of Pi Kappa, said he did not believe many students utilized the system.
“Probably the students don’t really care all that much because they already know the reputations the clubs have,” he said.
Julie Goen, GATA president, agreed.
“The fact that students are given a full year of being here before they pledge in club, they are able to see what club they want to be in, and they know people in each club well enough that we didn’t feel like the five-star program was something that really made a difference,” she said.
Most presidents agreed they were glad the system was at least being evaluated.
“I think looking at it is a wise decision on their part,” said Garen Glasscock, Ko Jo Kai president and senior fashion merchandising major from Midland. “We can always make something better and more efficient.”
-Paul A. Anthony contributed information to this report.