A significant portion of ACU students have undergone a dramatic change of wardrobe over the past week. Pledging for social clubs has commenced since bid night commencing, which means skirts and ties are back in fashion and shouting can be heard from every corner of campus.
Mark Jackson, associate director of student organizations and programs, said overall pledging increased 9 percent this year with a 24 percent increase in pledging a men’s social club. With 205 women pledging, the number of women pledging broke even between this year and last year at 205. The number of men pledging increased by 32 from last year to 166 this year.
Jackson said a larger number of men showed interest in being involved in social clubs before pledging this year.
“I don’t know that there was one strong contributing factor,” Jackson said. “We did have certain clubs that had numbers of rushees that were larger than usual, and I think all the rushes were strong, but I really feel that there were more guys than usual wanting to be a participant and be in a social club.”
As is the case every year, some men and women who rushed and attended bid night ended up de-pledging at some point during the pledging process.
“We probably had anywhere from eight to 10 people de-pledge for a number of reasons,” Jackson said. “For health reasons or time reasons, they felt that they just couldn’t handle the commitment of the pledging process, so they de-pledged once they realized they didn’t have enough time or weren’t well enough to fully commit to the whole thing.”
Morgan Myer, senior psychology major from Richardson and GATA president, said GATA pledges and current club members have all enjoyed the pledging process so far. She said she is not worried about the size of the number of GATA pledges.
“We have been praying for this pledge class since last spring and know that the number of girls we got are the exact girls that belong in GATA,” Myer said.
Myer said she cannot wait to give the new members support and welcome she’s received from the club.
“Our club is a very tight knit group of girls that have gone through a lot together,” Myer said. “I really do consider GATA my family as they have gotten me through many ups and downs the past couple of years.”
Myer said one of the reasons GATA’s tradition and club secrets are important to her is that it is the longest continuously runningÂ club on campus.
“Knowing that some of the activities we do now were founded in 1920 is a crazy feeling, and it’s so exciting to welcome these girls and see them go through what myself and so many other women have gone through for years and years before them,” Myer said.
Jackson said club presidents and their officer teams are to be commended for the extremely smooth-running bid nights for all clubs.
“We drove around, sat back and encouraged where we needed to encourage, but I was really, really pleased with how the night went,” Jackson said. “There were no curfew violations. That night all the pledges have to be back at 5 a.m. and they did, and that’s really important to us.”