By Mallory Sherwood, Managing Editor
Delta Theta was reactivated Wednesday, six months after pledging was halted. Administrators stopped pledging midway through October after the club’s advisers resigned because they didn’t agree with the direction the club was headed, said Dr. Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life.
“The women completed a self-study of the club which encouraged them to go back to the original ideas of the club and to see what was tradition in the club,” Barnard said. “They had mean-spirited pledging, and I suggested that the pledging process needed to change.”
He said that women who want to pledge always comment on how Delta Theta has the best tea of all the social clubs because they are fun and encourage real relationships with potential Biddies. He said what happened between the tea and when pledging began often gave the women whiplash because of the drastic change in attitude.
“They needed to take a look at pledging because I don’t think it fulfilled the purpose of the club,” he said.
After researching the history of the club and talking with alumni, the women of Delta Theta have learned where they came from and see where they are going.
“The self-study was a really difficult process for us because we had to go to the roots of the club and dig for our history and background,” said Lindsey Jessup, DT president and senior human communication studies major from Bakersfield, Calif. “The process was time-consuming but we learned how to make ourselves a better club.”
The self-study is a required step for all clubs put on probation or suspension, and one that should be required of all clubs, Barnard said.
“For any club with problems, it’s important to look and see what happened and how they got there,” he said. “You have to get past the emotions and look at yourself and who you really are; it’s the first stepping stone for a new direction.”
Barnard’s announcement came as no surprise to Jessup, although she said the atmosphere in the room where the club met changed as soon as Barnard announced they were activated again.
“Personally, I think there is a huge internal difference,” Jessup said. “We are a lot closer and our friendship bonds have been strengthened. Our club as a whole is stronger and people are going to notice that our attitudes have changed, too.”
An attitude change makes all the difference, Barnard said.
“People may think behaviors need to change, but I believe that changes can’t occur unless it occurs in your thinking and how you approach things,” Barnard said.
DT’s reactivation comes just in time for spring rushes and formal.
Spring rushes begin April 17, and Jessup said members are busy planning rushes, events and skits for the upcoming events. They are also finishing their service projects, which include adopting a highway in Abilene and painting murals in the pediatric ward of Abilene Regional Medical Center and planning their formal for April 22, an event supported emotionally and financially by Barnard.
“I am financially supporting their formal because I think it is important for them to bond,” he said. “Because of their deactivation, money has not been raised and dues have not been paid; so I want to make sure it happens for them and let them know, ‘I believe in you, and I’m glad your back.'”
He said with DT’s reactivation he hopes that the women interested in pledging look at DT with the other clubs.
“My fear is that because of their suspension that women won’t want to give them a chance,” he said. “They know who they are and they know what their purpose as a club is. They are strong and women need to give them a fair shot.”
A shot is what Jessup hopes for, too.
“People are going to see us more active on campus and big things are going to happen,” she said. “When women pledge with us they are going to see a strong bond among us, and they’ll want to be involved. I bet in the future we’ll be a large club on campus again.”