Despite a larger pledge class in 2016, three girls are looking to be Zeta Rho’s rechartering class to avoid folding for the third time since it was founded in 1944.
Allison Cross, freshman engineering major from San Antonio, Kelsea Abston, freshman advertising/public relations major from Lubbock and Katie Pantoja, freshman multimedia and digital entertainment technology double major from Roscoe, have the goal of getting 30 women to pledge Zeta Rho this spring.
Chris Herrington, social clubs director, approached Cross and Pantoja about reviving the club. Abston said she reached out to ask which clubs would offer spring pledging. Though Herrington said none of the women’s clubs were offering pledging this semester, he offered the three an opportunity to recharter Zeta Rho, who folded due to lack of members.
“I was unsure at first, but I took the time to talk with [Chris] and I’ve met with these girls two times this week trying to wrap our heads around what’s going on,” Abston said. “We’re trying to give it fresh light because we don’t know exactly, until we get girls to commit to doing this, if we will have the numbers to do it.”
Zeta Rho was founded in 1944 but folded in 1968. It was rechartered in 1973 and again folded in 1998-99. In 2011, it was rechartered for a third time. They had a larger pledge class of 20 in 2016 when another group of women had the similar idea of revamping.
“Our main goal right now is to make it a Christ-centered group of girls,” Cross said. “I think a lot of problems with social groups is that sometimes they get so big and it’s really hard. I’ve heard time and time again, they just want to know more people, so we want to create more friendships through solid bonding time.”
Cross said she wants to focus the group around community, offering devotionals and worship nights to keep each other grounded.
“Not like a stressful thing,” Abston said. “It’s going to be hard regardless, with the number of people we’re trying to get. Just knowing that, it will help to have a group of girls we have a bond with to get through this, to have Christ as the glue in that bond would be amazing. That’s what we’re trying to shoot for.”
Abston mentioned an article discussing the reputation Zeta Rho had for being the club women pledged because they didn’t get their first choice.
“It’s not necessarily the leftover girls, which obviously Zeta Rho wasn’t,” Cross said. “It got some reputations because people make assumptions.”
Abston said she’s familiar with a few current members because she’s involved in Swing Cats, but Cross and Pantoja are unfamiliar with any.
For the first time since the club rechartered, they will not participate in Sing Song. Nick Tatum, director of student productions, said acts must have a minimum of 25 members, 12 of which must be members of the club as well.
“I built in some numbers so if anyone was or wasn’t in it, or had to drop out, that we would still have a smooth show,” Tatum said. “We had to move things around when they told us they wouldn’t meet the criteria to be in it.”
Cross said right now, Zeta Rho is their own club and not participating in Sing Song does not affect the recharter. In agreement, Abston said the only thing hurting their goal to refresh is the stereotypes.
“The girls need a break,” Abston said. “While we try to refresh and renew, they’re getting a well deserved break. In my opinion, not doing Sing Song- that was a good choice for them. They’ve been through a lot.”
Herrington told the trio if they decide to continue, they will be the rechartering class and will not pledge.
“It’d be a good start to get our close friends together and get their close friends together,” Cross said. “There’s already a bond between the girls. We know each other, we’re friends. Whoever else wants to join, that’d be great.”
Abston said they were allowed to open the process up to anyone, no matter eligibility. Among more than 100 women eligible to pledge, they are aiming to have 30.
“This semester, the only reason they’re letting us open it up is because we’re trying to get 15-20, at least,” Abston said. “They sent us out and told us to go forth and prosper. Once we get that base, next semester will go back to normal. We can’t break the rules forever.
“We have to have strong girls who are committed. Whatever needs to happen, God is going to take care of it. I’m just giving it up to Him.”