By Denton Josey, Features Editor
Fewer people went through Bid Night this year than last. The number of pledges dropped for men’s and women’s clubs.
Last year, 235 women and 142 men reported final rankings for clubs, but this year only 223 women and 108 men ranked clubs to pledge.
Mauri Westbrook, coordinator of student organizations and activities, said numbers have been decreasing for the last several years.
Describing this year as a year of change, Westbrook said they are working on a new pledge system that will take up less time. “We’re hoping under the new system we’ll grow,” Westbrook said.
“We want social clubs to grow and thrive, and we’re hoping that the new system will accomplish that,” she said.
Though total numbers are down, some clubs still had many pledges. Gamma Sigma Phi had the largest men’s pledge class with 45, followed by Galaxy’s 30 pledges. In its first pledge class in two years, Sub T-16 had 20 pledges and Frater Sodalis had 12. The Trojans did not have a pledge class this year.
The women’s clubs had three clubs that almost reached the maximum capacity for a pledge class. Alpha Kai Omega, Ko Jo Kai and Sigma Theta Chi have 47 pledges this year out of a possible 48. While Tri Kappa Gamma and Delta Gamma Phi both had small pledge classes, GATA had 10 and Delta Theta had 30, nearly double the 18 who pledged last year.
Delta Theta president Christie Thomas, senior graphic design major from Austin, said she has no idea why fewer people pledged this year. “I’ve been wondering the same thing. I guess people are finding other ways to get involved, which is fine and good,” she said.
Thomas said a new pledging rule required students to visit four out of the seven clubs, and that rule helped Delta Theta. “We went all out and were really fun and showed them they could be themselves,” she said.
Even if pledge classes continue to decrease in number, Thomas said it wouldn’t change things for Delta Theta.
“I’m not too worried about the future of Delta Theta,” she said. “We have a good dynamic as a smaller club.”