Ten freshmen made their decision to join the clubs of Zeta Rho, Frater Sodalis and Pi Kappa as the university allowed students with freshman hours to pledge for the first time in its history.
“I’m pleased that there was at least that many freshmen. You know anytime it’s a new thing it can be kind of challenging to do something new,” said Mark Jackson, associate director of student organizations. “We understand because not every club was doing it and because it’s a new thing, that some students are going to wait until the fall and that’s great.”
The process began about a week and a half ago as each club held rushes for those interested. Jackson said the clubs held bid night last Friday and are required to have officially welcomed all members by February 24th.
“They’re excited. I went around to all three clubs locations Friday night and you could just tell there was an energy there. Just having people at any time, that’s exciting,” Jackson said.
Along with the 10 freshmen are 10 other students who make up the 20 spring pledges. Of the three clubs involved, Zeta Rho received eight students while Frater Sodalis and Pi Kappa had three and nine pledges respectively.
With pledging taking place in the spring rather than the fall, Joel Childers, Frater Sodalis officer, said it’s a fairly different experience since the culmination of pledging will be Sing Song instead of Homecoming.
“It definitely is different than fall pledging,” said Childers, junior Biblical Text major from Abilene. “You know it’s a different atmosphere for the guys that are pledging just because it’s not the entire campus pledging all at once. They’re just a few clubs doing it.”
All three weeks will follow the same pledging rules, as the Frats and Pikes will be allowed one weekly activity along with any Sing Song related activities. Since Zeta Rho is not competing in sing song, they are allowed one weekly activity and one service related event.
“They [Zeta Rho] are very much a club that they love to do service projects, and so they’re probably not as busy as they would be during fall pledging, but they’re still doing a lot,” Jackson said.
Ben Kimble, Pi Kappa president and senior Youth and Family Ministry, Family Studies double major from the Colony, said Sing Song has had both a positive and negative effect on the process so far.
“With the [pledging] preparation it takes a lot of time out of that when you are doing sing song,” Kimble said. “But also a good thing is as we’re preparing for it you’ve got freshman and people that aren’t in club that are a part of our Sing Song act, and they heard about us preparing for this and that actually made them come to the rushes. So it was kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time.”
Only clubs with less than 50 active members were allowed to take new pledges this spring. Jackson said all three clubs will be able to accept students again in the fall along with the other ten clubs, which will include Sub-T and a new club, who hasn’t settled on a name yet.