Abilene Christian University (ACU) representatives visited campus on Oct. 29 and 30 to learn about the Harding social club process. Chris Herrington, ACU student organizations coordinator, and MC Jennings, a sponsor for Abilene women’s social club Ko Jo Kai, shadowed the deans and observed the new member induction process.
“(We visited for) the new member orientation process that we are transitioning to,” Herrington said. “We were kind of looking at our sister schools for what they do, what their processes are, meeting some students, sponsors and, of course, administration.”
ACU currently has 14 social clubs, ranging from approximately 20 members to 150. Their new member process, called rush, lasts three weeks with new members being inducted at the end.
Herrington and Jennings visited to gain new ideas to reform the ACU social club induction process to revolve more about the induction of the new members.
Harding currently has 29 social clubs, ranging from approximately 15 members to more than 100. Current social clubs date as far back as 1926, the formation of women’s social club Ju Go Ju.
Other Christian schools like Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) and Ohio Valley University (OVU) also run social clubs differently than Harding.
OBU has social club induction in the spring semester. Senior Cassidy Colbert, member of women’s social club Ju Go Ju, transferred from OBU in 2015, where she was a member of another social club.
“My (OBU) club’s pledge week was considered ‘tough’ but really it was just embarrassing and silly,” Colbert said. “We all had pledge names that now the things we did were so, so funny.”
Colbert said the whole social club process was two weeks, with one week including receptions and the second being induction week. She said she preferred the OBU process because it was quicker and smoother, though hazing rules were not as strict as they are at Harding.
“Having (inductions) in the spring allowed me to really know what I wanted because I knew who the girls really were before the recruiting process,” Colbert said.
Senior Jay Massey transferred from OVU in 2015 and is a current member of men’s social club Gamma Sigma Phi. At OVU, he joined men’s social club Delta.
Massey said the clubs were co-ed and were able to enforce club week rules during the day.
“We never had events with other clubs, we just spent all our time with just our club,” Massey said. “For functions, we never brought people from other clubs since it was co-ed.”
Neither OVU nor ACU hosted an all club devotional during induction week. Herrington said Harding’s All-Club devotional was one event that was the most memorable to him in terms of the social club process.
“All club was a really cool atmosphere,” Herrington said. “It was a really cool atmosphere to be in, super loud, but it was really unifying to see all these different clubs with different personalities come together, be in the same gym doing the same thing, so those are really cool experiences.”