By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
The office of student organizations told social club presidents it is investigating reports of “servitude” violations, some against specific clubs.
Amanda Spell, coordinator of student organizations and activities, said members of the university and Abilene communities reported pledges performing acts for club members such as mowing members’ lawns or getting them food.
“When anything like this comes up, it’s a concern to us, and we bring it up with the club presidents,” Spell said.
Although some complaints focused on specific clubs, Spell declined to say which because none of the complaints has been confirmed.
“It is all speculation; it’s not something we can confirm,” she said. “Anytime we hear something, it’s dealt with appropriately.”
Various presidents said that while they have heard rumors about other clubs doing such things, they denied their clubs were involved.
“That’s never been a part of our pledging,” said Cody Blair, Gamma Sigma Phi president. “It’s just not something we do because it doesn’t go along with what we try to accomplish with pledging.”
Galaxy president Luke James said if servitude were to occur, mandatory visitations would be the occasion.
Each club requires pledges to “visit” with each member, ostensibly to get to know the members of the club better.
“That’s the least likely to control, from an officer’s perspective,” James said, declining to say whether members of Galaxy have violated anti-servitude regulations. “I don’t know because I’m not there if it does happen,” he said.
Both Spell’s office and the office of Campus Life received calls with such concerns, Spell said. Some complaints were general; others focused on specific clubs.
“If any one particular club is named, then we talk to that club about it,” Spell said.
Still, Spell said it’s hard to tell how many of the concerns are actually valid.
“We hear different things, and sometimes people will report something that looks suspicious, and it’s actually something else,” Spell said. “Still, any servitude is too much, and pledges shouldn’t be asked to it.”
Spell said if servitude is happening, the club presidents are usually not at fault.
“We talk to them, but it’s hard for the presidents of the clubs,” Spell said. “They can’t be everywhere all the time.”
Spell said she brought her concerns individually to the presidents of the possible violators, who in turn said they would talk to the clubs.
Some presidents have not yet responded, Spell said, so the investigation technically is in progress.
“If it is confirmable, and it in fact has happened, then we deal with it,” she said. “Up to this point, we have not dealt with it in the discipline realm.”
-April Ward contributed to this report.