As a first-year member of Frater Sodalis, I have long looked forward to the next pledge class coming into my fraternity.
The brothers in my fraternity have provided me with an incredible community. The thought of extending that to another group of sophomores, especially to so many that I am friends with, really excites me.
To be completely honest, it will also be nice to not be called the newest pledge class anymore.
However, I think that it’s time for Student Life to make the difficult decision to push pledging back to the spring semester.
I’m good friends with many of the officers for my fraternity this year. I’m very proud of the ways our leadership has handled the many changes thrown at fraternities and sororities as a whole, but it’s been difficult for me to watch them struggle so much with replanning, rescheduling and canceling various events.
We have all worked hard to adjust to the changes this semester has required, and the leaders of the student organizations on campus have worked very hard to preserve the student experience as much as possible.
With attempting to continue preserving the student experience in mind, I don’t think it will be an enjoyable experience for the students pledging into a fraternity or the students who are already members to push pledging into the last two weeks of the on-campus semester.
Pledging into Frater Sodalis has allowed me to make some of my favorite memories as a student so far. I want the next pledge classes for every fraternity and sorority have the same opportunity to share those experiences together and build connections, especially in a time when connecting can be so difficult.
I think we as a university have reached an important junction in our semester where we have seen a large spike in COVID-19 cases and now a reduction because of the safety measures put into place. The administration must decide this week how events on campus will continue.
Rather than risk this cycle continuing and forcing plans to change quickly again, I think it will be best to make time and space for rushing and pledging to happen in the spring semester, in a time with potentially fewer cases and more students able to participate.
Additionally, this will give the students who lead fraternities and sororities the time they need to make plans that will give both rushees and members an enjoyable experience that meets health and safety requirements.
The decision to postpone pledging will be a difficult one for many students to understand, but I think its pros outweigh its cons in this situation.