About 40 percent more women and about 17 percent more men plan to pledge social clubs compared to last year, according to the Office of Student Organizations and Production, potentially increasing the competition among potential pledges for limited club spots in some clubs.
The 325 women who have registered to pledge this year is almost 100 more than those who registered in 2012. And so far, 133 men have registered to pledge, surpassing last year’s number by 20. Those increases in interest, particularly among women, will likely force social clubs to make adjustments, said Mark Jackson, associate director of student organizations and programs.
However, Jackson does anticipate a drop in the number of women interested in pledging after some club-hopefuls aren’t invited back to Sigma Theta Chi and Ko Jo Khai rushes.
“We don’t want anyone to drop, that is the main thing,” Jackson said. “We want girls to check out all five clubs and go to their rushes.”
Jackson said if the number of female pledges remains the same, the number of pledges each women’s club can accept will likely increase across the board.
He said each woman should have a back-up club because, with the increase of pledging numbers, she will have a 1-in-6 shot of getting into her first choice.
“We’ve seen a lot of second choices become a great fit for them, and it’s exactly where God wants them, and they didn’t maybe see that at the beginning but they see it now,” he said. “We have had individuals who have gotten their second choice that have become officers and even presidents.”
For the first time ever, women pledges were allowed to text in questions at the Tuesday night pledging information meeting. Questions came up about the cost of pledging and curfew as well as why each club must limit the number of pledges admitted every year.
Jackson said an unlimited number of pledges would create issues with activities such as intramurals and Sing Song. One of the reasons they keep a strict number on acceptances is to keep equal involvement in campus activities.
Some sophomores have embraced the situation and are feeling blessed by the community this large pledge class provides.
Cassie White, sophomore family studies major from Abilene, registered to pledge and shares the same view as many of her fellow rushes.
“I’m not going to lie, it is pretty intimidating to know that you’re rushing with 325 other girls, but it is so exciting to be a part of this whole process,” said White. “I’ve loved rushing so far, from meeting new people to making all of the costumes and just the idea of getting to be a part of one of the social clubs here is so exciting.”
Women will rank the clubs from 8:30-11 a.m. and noon-5 p.m. Wednesday in the Students Association office. They will also rank the clubs again on Sept. 25.
Women’s call night, otherwise known as acceptance night, will be 5:00 p.m. Sept. 26 in Hart Auditorium. The men will receive their bids under their dorm doors if they live on campus, those living off campus will need to pick up their bids in the Campus Center.