Societies split between pledging JanTerm or Spring: JanTerm allows more pledging activities

Korrine Hilgeman's picture

Issue 22, Korrine Hilgeman, Opinion - By Korrine Hilgeman on Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 03:53

The cutting of JanTerm brought immediate alarm to societies in regards to pledging. How could we possibly fit in all our activities in that short time span without compromising our traditions? How do you decide what is important enough to keep and what you can get rid of without damaging the integrity of your brotherhood or sisterhood?

A shorter January interim session hurts not only professors who must redesign their classes, but all societies who must now restructure the process of inducting and educating their new members. This process is extremely important, as these new members will be not only the new faces of the society but also the ones who will run the society when all the current members graduate. If anything important is left out, it could have serious consequences for a society.
JanTerm is also a more open and free time for people to pledge during. Students have one class for three hours a day, and pledging events can be scheduled with these simpler schedules in mind. With only one class, it is easier for students to balance academics with pledging than if a pledging student had a full course load. With pledging during a semester, pledges will have to work even harder to maintain good GPAs.

Another downfall of semester pledging would be that it will limit people’s chances of taking part in pledging. Those involved in sports that take place in the spring semester will not be able to pledge, as their practices and competitive events will undoubtedly be conflicting with pledging events. It is unfair for these people to not ever have the chance to pledge if they would like to do so.

Moving pledging from JanTerm to during a semester will only hinder the College’s societies. For some, it could even mean significantly lower numbers of members as many people will not want to commit to four to six weeks of pledging while handling a full semester course load. Lower numbers can put a society in jeopardy of dying out, which will radically affect the diversity of Whittier College societies. Less students will find a place they feel they fit in, which could affect everything from student retention rates to how much students are involved on campus.