By Laura Acuff, Opinion Editor
Social club pledging ended this weekend as phase two of the new pledging system came to a close.
“Really, I think overall it was a really positive year,” said Mauri Westbrook, coordinator of student organizations and activities. “In a year of transition, there’s always going to be some need for clarification and refining once we’re done. Over the course of the semester, there have been some questions that came up that we need to look at and consider going forward, but on a whole, for our first year of a major change like this, I think
it went really well.”
Westbrook said although the new pledging policy will be reviewed by ACU faculty and club members following the conclusion of the pledging process, no major changes are expected.
“We’ve been focused on getting through,” Westbrook said. “We haven’t really had time to sit down and talk about specifics for the organizations, but I think really, it’s going to be more minute details related to specific activities and things of certain clubs.
“It’s not anything that was earth shattering, or that will necessarily be policy-changing. It’s just more thinking through and thinking how we apply this and continue to better the process, so that there’s further communication and further understanding of where we’re going. Some of those you just have to live through to really understand, and so I think now that we have a year under us, the officers next year will have even a better understanding of kind of what those phases look like.”
Although several clubs concluded pledging earlier this month, including Sub T-16, Galaxy and Delta Theta, the mandatory end for pledging does not occur until sometime this weekend and is kept secret from non-club members.
“We don’t necessarily broadcast that because [clubs] still want to have some sort of element of surprise for when it’s going to be over for their members,” Westbrook said.
Pledges are expected to have completed certain requirements, determined by the club itself and approved by the Student Life Office, before the end of phase two. Clubs may choose not to induct pledges who fail to meet those requirements.
Visits to older club members or work on the club’s Homecoming parade float were included in phase two’s requirements, because it is more geared toward relationship-building than the traditional initiation period of phase one.
“The second phase had visits, and so that’s when I really got to know the Siggies and felt more a part of it,” said Rachel Pinson, sophomore mathematics major from Abilene, who pledged Sigma Theta Chi. “I thought phase two was actually harder than phase one, just because there was so much to do.”
Despite the challenges of pledging, Pinson recommends the experience.
“It’s so worth it.” Pinson said. “I loved it. I loved every part of it, even the hard parts.”
Clubs may accept additional pledges in the spring, but Westbrook said the specific clubs that will opt to do so have yet to be determined.