Pledging at Abilene Christian University is about a third of the way done and there are two things that have come to mind: First, pledging is being critically diminished by those who control what clubs can do and secondly, more and more pledges are pledging with false expectations.
Hazing and pledging laws are important to the well-being of students or anyone looking to pledge an organization in the state.
Without these laws, the numbers of pledges getting hurt or sick could increase exponentially and without oversight. However, these laws targeted towards maintaining mental and physical health, actually soften the character of the pledges.
I like to compare fraternities and sororities to athletic teams. Coaches in every sport work to encourage their teams to get them prepared and ready for their games.
However, often times, the coach is given no other option but to get onto the team with the appropriate discipline. When a lack of physical effort or attention is noticed, the coach is required to discipline the team and keep the player responsible.
Yet, while the state is okay with this, they continue to eliminate aspects of pledging previous members were able to enforce that current members can’t.
I believe that with any fraternity or sorority there will arise issues of verbal or even physical abuse, which we need to work to eliminate. Yet, this should not mean current members must calm themselves for the sake of the pledges.
As the pledging seasons get shortened and the rules become less strict, sooner or later pledging will lose the meaning it once had.
Current members of social clubs should make sure they are not abusing their power, but they should also be allowed to coach the pledges.
A football team does not get to state by soft reaffirmation, but rather it is rigorous practice and stern coaching that builds the team and the character of each player.