For five weeks, the campus of Abilene Christian University has resounded with shouts of female students proclaiming their appreciation to a landmark on campus, males dressing in formal attire and noticeable amounts of students with sleep deprived faces sprinkled around the school.
The culprit to all of these is social club pledging, a five-week process held annually, and the start of this week marked the end of the period for most clubs on campus.
“As a whole, I think the whole process went really well,” Associate Director of Student Organizations and Programs Mark Jackson said. “Our numbers on the guys side went up 25 percent and the girl’s side remained steady. We love seeing the numbers go up, which means that people want to get involved on campus and ultimately make a difference.”
Jackson is in his first year at this position, where he is charge of one hundred-plus student organizations, ranging from social clubs to academic programs.
“As a whole, there are always things looking back where you go ‘Man, I could’ve handled that better,’ but I am pleased with the final result,” Jackson said.
Dispersed among 11 social clubs, 349 individuals completed the pledging process and are now members among their respective clubs.
“It is such a gratifying and rewarding feeling to be a member of Trojans Social Club,” Keegan Kinder, sophomore Business Marketing major from Round Rock, said. “The pledging process lived up to its bill, served its purpose, and was something that I am glad I was a part of.”
During the five-week process, pledges have nightly events and specific requirements that they must complete in order to successfully make their way through the process, which are aimed at bonding the pledge class in a unique way.
“Simply spending time together and going through activities as a group serves as a natural bond between all those involved,” Kinder said. “It’s a great feeling knowing that I’m a part of a unified group.”
These activities, though, consume hefty amounts of time, which make juggling various commitments and time management skills a priority.
“Finding a balance with all that is going on is tough,” Jackson said. “It’s a struggle that takes some practice. Time management is as very important part of life, and those involved with pledging find that out first hand.”
Mackenzie Speck, sophomore speech pathology major from Amarillo, echoed Jackson and is thankful that time has opened up on her schedule now for other things, such as schoolwork.
“Staying on top of school work was very hard during pledging,” Speck said. “Now that I have some time, I’ll make it a point to stay on top of my grades.”
But she admitted the whole process was worth it.
“Being called Siggie Mackenzie is a great feeling.”