Rushing season begins this week for women registered and eligible to pledge. Teas, where potential pledges visit with all the women’s clubs on campus, start Sunday afternoon.
This year, the deadline for women to register has been moved from immediately following teas to Friday at 5 p.m. The deadline for men to register is Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. Coffees, the men’s club’s version of teas, start off campus Sept. 20.
As of Aug. 31, 292 women and 124 men were registered and eligible to pledge. Mark Jackson, associate director of student organizations and programs, said he is optimistic about these numbers, even if they are not as high as last year.
“This time last year we had 338 girls signed up, and that number continued to grow throughout the week leading up to teas,” Jackson said. “But at the same time, the number of guys right now is quite a bit higher.”
Last year, 275 women completed the pledging process, which is the most in the five years Jackson has been in his position.
This year, with the addition of Tri Kappa Gamma as the sixth women’s club, Jackson said he feels comfortable capping the pledge class size at 50-55 women.
“It’s not in the best interest of the clubs to take 60-70 new members,” he said. “There was a huge need for a sixth girls club.”
Last year, the pledging period was shortened from five weeks to three, along with a few other changes. This year, the changes are not as drastic, Jackson said.
“Visits can now start during the second week of pledging and must be completed the week before finals,” Jackson said.
April Young, senior social work major from Allen and president of GATA womens social club, said she approves of the change.
“The rule change regarding starting visits earlier is a good thing,” Young said. “It will allow pledges and members to connect on a deeper level during pledging. It will also allow members to be more involved in the pledging process.”
In addition, all activities on Aug. 24, Bid Acceptance Night, will stop at 11 p.m. and, for the first time, a curfew will be enforced.
“Friday is a long day itself,” Jackson said. “We felt it was important that everyone stopped what they were doing at 11 and went to bed as soon as possible.”
Jackson said he hopes these changes will make for a smoother rushing and pledging process.
“My desire is that every club does well,” he said. “And that looks different for every club.”