Student Life announced this week that first-year students will be able to join fraternities and sororities next spring. The decision came from administration despite some concerns from officers.
Allowing freshman to join means three straight semesters of new classes, with the last class including freshman in the spring. Clubs will be pushed to the limit next school year after an already busy pledging season this spring.
On top of this, social clubs had an extended rushing and pledging process this year, so, in reality, it will be four straight semesters of rushing and pledging activities.
Many are questioning whether this is a good time for such a big change. With limitations on group activities due to the pandemic, creating larger pledge classes could be more difficult on the clubs as they find ways to do rushes while social distancing.
With these concerns, everyone seems to be wondering what the motivation for implementing this change so quickly is. Most universities of our size allow freshmen to pledge, but ACU has over a hundred years of the tradition of having students wait until their sophomore year.
Overall, administration is asking clubs to take on bigger pledge classes, several semesters in a row of pledging activities and additional officers in a very short time frame.
These changes could ultimately leave the university in a better place in the future, but it imposes a rigorous and challenging time for current members and officers.
If administration had waited until 2023 to start freshman pledging, there wouldn’t be three straight semesters of accepting new members, and fraternities and sororities would have enough time to adjust to the changes. While administration does get the final say when it comes to social club activities, they aren’t the ones who have to implement the changes and scramble to plan and organize increased pledge classes during a pandemic.