Lets get one thing out of the way: If you’re going to call me biased, just go ahead and send the email now.
For starters, I’m not entirely sure when this debate started, but I’m here to end it. Ko Jo Kai is the oldest social club on campus.
It’s factual, it’s historical and I’m not sure why there was a debate to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, all social clubs have years of rich history, but Ko Jo Kai has just one more than GATA.
The most common argument in this debate is that Ko Jo Kai changed from its original name, the Hi A club, in 1920. However, if this argument were consistent, we could cross-apply it to the name of our university itself. ACU would be less than 100 years old, starting as Childers Classical Institute in 1906, changing to Abilene Christian College in 1920, and to Abilene Christian University in 1976.
In an ACU blog written in 2010, GATA’s claim to fame is that they are the “oldest continuously named social club on the ACU campus” (weird flex, but OK).
While true, it doesn’t change the fact that Ko Jo Kai is the oldest club.
In the ACU Century Book, Ko Jo Kai is listed as the oldest club on campus.
My name is Lauren Franco and I was born on May 20, 1997. If at any point I change my name, it won’t change the fact that I’m older than Madeline Dayton, born on August 27, 1997.
In the Dec. 11, 1919 issue of the Optimist (Vol. VII, Issue IV), Georgia Rowsey wrote an article about 11 Daisy Hall women organizing a club called the Hi A club, in which the purpose was to “have a good time.”
The Hi A club is pictured in the 1920 Prickly Pear edition as the Hi A club, but as Ko Jo Kai in the 1921 version. The first mention of Ko Jo Kai in the Optimist was on February 17, 1921.
G.A.T.A. was not chartered until January of 1920, according to the Optimist on Jan. 22, 1920. The G.A.T.A. Club (Girls Aid Toward Athletics) is pictured in the 1921 Prickly Pear edition with the caption, “Permanently organized in 1920.”
So next year, as we celebrate our 100th anniversary, Ko Jo Kai will continue to proudly carry its long-lasting history forward for centuries to come.