Greek president lays out pledging changes

Augustana’s administration adjusted this year’s Greek life pledging process by cutting hours and prohibiting alcohol in order for students to focus more on academics, said Arsal Shareef, Greek Council president.
The new pledging hours are Monday-Thursday from 8-10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight, with no overnight during the five-week period. The 2014 pledging hours were from 8:30-11:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, with one overnight.
“Greek life was important to (the administration), but it just wasn’t as important as academics,” said Shareef. “When you come to Augustana, that is your main priority.”
Shareef said alcohol consumption is prohibited eight hours prior to and during the hours designated as “new member hours” by the college. This includes all Greek members, regardless of age or active status, who participate in pledging.
“The reason I was given was that there are a lot of problems that are caused when alcohol is involved during the pledging process,” said Shareef. “(The administration) felt like that was the key thing to having a successful pledging process, without any obstacles of any sort.”
Shareef said this “dramatic change” to pledging will stay the same for the next three to five years, since the college has altered the new-member period every year during his time at Augustana.
“The chapters will take advantage of what they have now,” said Shareef. “They’ll make sure every minute counts, not doing anything careless.”
Over the last five years, Katey Bignall, Greek life director, said the hours for pledging in 2012 were the same as in 2013 and 2014, except for there being two overnights instead of one. Bignall said 2012 was also the first year there was no Sunday pledging. The pledging hours for the 2010-11 periods were Sunday-Thursday 8:30-11:30 p.m., Friday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
This year’s rush began on Jan. 18 with the Greek recruitment rally, where potential new members had the opportunity to interact with the Greek community and register for informal rush, which began on Jan. 23.