Pledging will look a little different next fall. Administrators eliminated the use of calisthenics as an approved pledging activity and shortened pledging to five weeks from six weeks.
Calisthenics is defined as systematic rhythmic bodily exercises performed, usually without apparatus, according to Webster’s Dictionary and the ACU Anti-Hazing Policy and Philosophy.
“The changes that they have come up with will give us a system that focuses more and more on building people up to develop bonds of brotherhood as opposed to any other direction or method to achieve the same goal,” said Tom Craig, director of student productions.
The changes were a result of several months of evaluations and discussions between the Board of Trustees, the legal office and the President’s Cabinet, Craig said.
“The pledging process at ACU is actually a constantly changing process in the sense that it’s constantly reviewed; it’s constantly evaluated; it’s constantly looked at to be improved,” Craig said. “With that, several entities have looked at our existing pledging process and made some improvements on it to bring it more in line with what is consistent with anti-hazing laws and what is normal and acceptable in other universities.”
Craig said he gave an overview of the changes to each acting club president and future fall president and will meet with each club individually to evaluate every pledging activity to see if it falls in line with the new guidelines.
“For some of our groups, it’s just a few modifications. For other groups it’s large-scale transformation,” Craig said. “The good thing is, we will brainstorm with each of our groups to help them come up with something that falls within the guidelines and really create something that works for them.”
Alpha Kai Omega President Kelsi Wicks, junior animal science major from Tyler, said quite a few of the Alpha Kai pledging activities involved physical activity and one in particular would need to change completely, but club officers have already started brainstorming.
“The hardest part will be coming up with something that is just as unifying,” Wicks said. “I know from my pledging experience, that the activities that included physical activity were where our pledge class bonded the most.”
Gamma Sigma Phi also uses physical activity as part of their pledging, but upcoming GSP President-elect Houston Beasley, junior accounting major from McKinney, said GSP will do their best to maintain traditions while falling in line with new rules.
“It’s no sense in sitting and thinking about what could have been,” Beasley said. “It is what it is. You have to run with it and that’s what we’re doing.”
Although pledging activities may take some restructuring, Wicks said she thinks often the meaning of physical activity gets lost through the years, and the changes will allow clubs to reevaluate meaning behind pledging activities.
“I think that it will be a good thing because I think we’ll be more respected on campus and it will give every officer team an opportunity to reformat their pledging and come up with activities that represent values of their club as a whole,” Wicks said.
Comments are closed