Sophomores and transfer students alike await the end of September, when they will discover which Oklahoma Christian University social service club they will call home for the remainder of their time on campus. For the 10 different men and women’s organizations, Club Night, which took place on Sept. 5, was a chance to introduce their clubs and encourage potential members to attend their various rush events through the end of the month.
Taking place in Hardman Auditorium, Club Night opened with Parent Association Director Liz McElroy welcoming all current and potential social service club members to the official beginning of the 2017 “Rush” Season.
“I am so glad you decided to take a chance and come out to see what this club thing is all about,” McElroy said during her opening address. “I know some of you may have known since childhood that you wanted to rush a club and I know some of you might have just wandered in because you smelled the snacks, but I encourage all of you to take a chance on buildings these relationships, on getting to know new people and on making yourself available to a group who wants to support you and build you up.”
McElroy also cautioned her audience against any type of hazing during or after the rush process since, according to her, joining a new group requires a measure of vulnerability, which has led lawmakers to try and protect through new regulations regarding hazing.
“At Oklahoma Christian, I am thankful this community reaches for something better,” McElroy said. “Hazing says, ‘I will validate myself as a person by making you subject to my whims,’ but here at Oklahoma Christian, we say, ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, value others above yourselves.’ Hazing says, ‘I was abused therefore I deserve to abuse you,’ but we say, ‘Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy.’ Hazing says, ‘I am powerless against the negative things that happen around me,’ but we say, ‘God did not give us a spirit of cowardliness, but of power, love and self-discipline.’”
Following a short address by each of the social service clubs’ presidents, potential members were encouraged to visit the various club tables set up in the McIntosh Conservatory, where they could grab snacks, interact with current members and pick up each clubs’ rush schedule.
For sophomore Sydney King, who is participating in this year’s rush season, the idea of finding a “sisterhood” on campus has her excited about what the next month will bring.
“OC is great at emphasizing community and I just think club is a great way to find a good group of friends you can rely on,” King said. “I am looking for a group of girls who love each other, love the Lord and just want to hang out and have a good time. I do not really know what to expect, but I am excited for the events I have heard everyone talk about.”
With events already underway on campus, club rush directors such as junior Hunter Wiederstein hope potential members will keep their options open as to which club they want to rush, even if they enter the process leaning toward one in particular.
“I came into my sophomore year with my mind set on one club, but Club Night came around, I saw how much fun all of the clubs were having and I decided I wanted to go into rush with an open mind,” Wiederstein said. “I ended up going to all of these different rush events, which was a great experience because I was able to meet more people than if I had only pursued the one club on which I was set. It really opened my eyes to the different possibilities of where club could take me.”
As one of the two rush directors for Kappa Sigma Tau this year, Wiederstein said he is excited to experience everything from the other side of the rush process this month.
“We have a tradition with Iota every year called the Kappa/Iota Lake Bash, where we go out to Lake Arcadia and have a huge party around the lake,” Wiederstein said. “It is a really good time. When it comes to rush, it is all about finding friends and trying to get people to get to know each other more. I want to do that with Kappa because that was my experience as a rushee.”