Pledging impacts Augustana clubs

Zain Shrestha

Greek life pledging has made a noticeable impact on Augustana’s clubs and activities, according to junior Madison Watwood. There have been apparent differences in attendance; however, executive members of various clubs have different views regarding the impact. 

There is a matter of concern whether involvement in Greek groups would benefit the students at all given the level of commitment some Greek groups demand. Many students at Augustana are involved in both Greek life and various activities around campus. This makes club attendance difficult, especially during pledging in the spring semester. 

Sophomore Kenaya Allen, treasurer of the Black Student Union (BSU), said the students benefit more from being in a Greek life group than not at all. 

According to Allen, members of Greek life are very involved in on-campus activities. Allen also said that pledging hasn’t taken any precedence over her clubs yet.

“Most Greek groups meet only once a week. Also, a lot of pledging happens after clubs meet,” Allen said. “Most clubs meet during the 4:00-7:00 pm mark. I think they do a great job of scheduling it right, so it fits within the student’s timetable.”

Lauren Palmer, president of Chi Alpha Phi sorority (CAP), has viewpoints similar to Allen. Palmer is heavily involved around campus, with her time taken up by the peer mentoring program, neuroscience/pre-med program, Spanish and tutoring. 

“I think what Greek life brought the most to me was talking to other people because they’re doing the same thing. It’s so easy to get stuck in your little bubble if you’re involved in that one club,” Palmer said. “Moreover, Greek life brings different people together, so you always have something in common with somebody.”

Overall, Palmer said she is grateful for her Greek life experience and all of the people that she has met through Greek life. 

Although the Greek life community is generally able to balance times with clubs and time with Greek life, pledging schedules still seems to affect some clubs on campus.

Watwood, president of women’s club soccer, said that every year the number of absences rises during pledging. 

“There were a significant number of absences, and it impacts how we run practices and how we are able to do certain activities since we’re a relatively smaller club,” Watwood said. 

Nevertheless, Watwood believes that Greek life is still worthwhile since the club soccer spans the entire school year. According to Watwood, a month of low attendance during pledging may be worth it because of all the opportunities Greek life can provide.