Frater Sodalis is doubling its club size this year, bringing in a pledge class of 25 sophomores and juniors.
The club, founded in 1943, is recognized as the oldest standing men’s social club on campus and has never been banned nor suspended.
“I’m extremely excited about this year’s brats, and I consider myself lucky to be a part of it,” said the club’s president Joel Childers, senior biblical text major from Abilene. “Having a pledge class so much bigger than we’ve had for the last few years is also a testament to the work of our officer team and club as a whole, as we’ve been giving our all to show guys why we think Frats is so valuable.”
Both the pledges, known as brats, and the current club members said they pride themselves on the diversity of the club.
“One of the unique things about this pledge class is the number of guys we have that are heavily involved all over campus as athletes, in theatre, choir, as RAs, in student organizations, and in a ton of other ways,” Childers said. “We always have guys involved around campus, but this group seems like there’s a really high number of guys who really want to be involved in the ACU community as a whole, along with club.”
Allen Martin, sophomore English and political science major from Abilene, said the club’s inclusive feeling drew him to pledge the club.
“I noticed the laid back nature of the guys and the way conversations with them came naturally,” Martin said. “Nothing felt forced. The best part, though, was I noticed that they are incredibly inclusive.”
Evan Beck, sophomore finance major from Frisco said his interest in the club was rooted in the strong spirituality of the group.
“I chose Frater Sodalis because they emphasize the ‘iron sharpens iron’ mentality that is prevalent in Proverbs,” Beck said. “The club is filled with spiritual warriors, and I have no doubt my faith will be encouraged by my peers. We have already begun to grow together as a pledge class in a really special way.”
Some of the members also said their club thrives on the aspect of brotherhood and is growing because of it.
“Brotherhood is an integral part of being a Frat. ‘Brothers Together’ is our motto, and we definitely take it to heart,” said vice president Daniel Tapia, a senior graphic design major from Los Angeles, California. “When one of us has reason to celebrate, we get together and celebrate. When one of us is struggling with something, we come together and we pray over them and encourage them in any way possible.”
Tapia experienced this brotherhood firsthand after being diagnosed with Stage 1 testicular cancer over the summer.
“Without any indication, I received a FaceTime from our brat dad, Nate Vela, where they, as a group, had shaved their heads as a way to support me and tell me that they have my back,” Tapia said. “It was an emotional moment for me; I was left speechless.”
The brats said that they look forward to growing with the current members through pledging.
“One of the things I love about Frats is the ability to retain the same culture and brotherhood despite undergoing so many changes over the years in both the size and makeup of club,” Childers said. “Even as we grow in size this semester, we aren’t worried that we’ll lose our identity from where we were last year, but rather we’ll be able to help each of this year’s bRat class understand why Frats is so valuable.”