Rush Week begins for social clubs on campus

By Caleb Brown, Assistant News Editor

Rush Week for the sisterhood social clubs for the 2019 Spring semester officially began February 18-21.

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The purpose Social Clubs of Oklahoma Baptist University serve are to break away from traditional fraternities and sororities without losing the Greek lifestyle they embody.

“Our Greek-culture is very Christ-focused,” sophomore psychology major and Theta member Rachael Von Dollen said. “We have a higher moral standard,” she said. “Bonds and friendships, however, are as strong as ones made at other colleges’ Greek social clubs.”

The social clubs connect students who live on or off campus and struggle making friends.

“I’m an introvert,” Von Dollen said. “When I looked at the social clubs, I thought I could make new friends through it. They made a big impression on me during Rush Week, and I really enjoy hanging out with my Theta sisters.”

The social clubs are also known for hosting events all around campus.

“I appreciate how much the clubs do collaboratively with one another,” assistant dean of students Mellissa Stroud said. “They are not completely insular or self-serving,” she said. “They are often providing great events for the student body as an act of service and this speaks to the heart of how these clubs are designed.”

The club’s distinction has allowed some of them to last for historic periods, with many new clubs hoping to continue in their footsteps.

“Throughout the past 30+ years, social clubs have played an important role in many of the traditions at OBU,” Stroud said. “They continue to be instrumental in the success of Student Life at OBU. Social Clubs exist to fulfill in part the mission statement of Oklahoma Baptist University.”

The Rushing Social Clubs are Pi Sigma Phi, Kappa Phi Beta and Theta Sigma Chi. Many of the events they host can be seen on the OBU website.

“I hope to continue working with our current student leadership to discover ways to enhance and grow clubs, both in numbers and in depth,” Stroud said. “Our faculty and sponsors play a huge role in the direction and strength of the clubs, and so if change is going to happen in a positive way, then it will be the collaboration of all parties involved.”

“Freshman Follidays” to welcome holiday season

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

The OBU Campus Activities Board will host the annual Freshman Follies freshman class talent show during homecoming weekend, Saturday Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.

This year’s follies will be directed by CAB members and OBU seniors Kelton Mims and Matthew Sanders. The theme is centered around all the holidays that take place during the calendar year and is titled: “Freshman Follidays.”

The event will display the musical and emceeing talents of OBU’s new freshman students.

“It will include most of the holidays of the year, so we’ll start at one end of the year and we’ll go through the end,” health and human performance major and co-director of “Freshman Follidays” Sanders said. “We’re really looking forward to showing campus what we’ve been working on.”

While the event will cover all kinds of holidays it also ties especially closely to the themes of the winter holidays and Christmas break.

“This is a kind of fun time of year in terms of the holidays,” Sanders said. “Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, so follies will just kind of get everyone ready for the change of seasons.”

The theme for the event was chosen by the directors.

“[We] brainstorm and then we come up with two to three themes,” senior sports management major and “Freshman Follidays” co-director Kelton Mims said. “And then we make power points with details under each one to present it to the CAB members and then the CAB members vote. Ultimately, it’s the directors’ choice.”

Mims said Sanders approached him this summer about co-directing, and the two welcomed the challenge.

Before directing, the two had also been members of CAB in the past.

Mims first joined CAB during his junior year.

“I got in last year because of stage band,” Mims said. “And I got out of stage band and just became just a regular CAB member.”

Sanders took an indirect route to his current role directing a CAB show.

“I was a freshman and I had some upperclassmen friends who really wanted me to get involved in this particular organization because they thought it would be a really good way to meet other people,” Sanders said.

Both Sanders and Mims have been friends for several years.

“Being able to do it next to Kelton, I think is really cool, just because we literally met our first day here at OBU,” Sanders said. “It’s really cool for our last year to have our last go-round be something like follies.”

Having seniors direct Freshman Follies allows for a somewhat mentoring relationship between the directors and the performers.

“Whenever freshmen have somebody they can look up to or connect with that’s older than them, especially a senior, that can help them a lot,” Mims said. “Plus, we have a great group of emcees. They’re cooperative, and they’re funny. They all bounce off each other.”

CAB members and performance emcees do not need to have a formal training background to perform in freshman follies.

“That’s really the best part of CAB shows,” Sanders said. “Even if you don’t have a musical background or theatre background, then it’s fine. I’m in CAB and I didn’t have any background like that.”

CAB is open to all. Performance acts simply have to audition.

“Typically, follies is the least hyped, and so we really, really put quality time and effort to make this the best follies we’ve seen,” Mims said. “The whole point is to showcase freshmen talent, and this year we have a lot to show off.”

Students who are interested in joining CAB will have the opportunity to sign up for a screening interview soon.

“Hopefully, follies will make students excited about being part of CAB,” Sanders said. “At the very least, we want people to come and enjoy an evening of good music and entertaining skits.”

Engage Week brings students together

By Ashton Smith, Assistant Features Editor

Part of OBU’s mission as a university is to engage in a diverse world. In turn, students are encouraged to go out and “engage,” and it all starts right here on Bison Hill.

This past week was Engage Week on campus, which is a week where students are able to connect with different clubs and student-led organizations.

The ultimate goal is for students to become more connected to campus as well as the Shawnee community.

Melissa Stroud, the assistant dean of students in the community and leadership engagement, is one of the driving forces behind this week.

“The idea is that incoming students are introduced to multiple opportunities to be involved on campus and in the community during Welcome Week and in particular at Un Cuerpo,” Stroud said. “However, we encourage them to keep their mind open and seek more information about those things that they are interested in.”

Un Cuerpo is meant to let incoming students see what’s available on campus, so that as they become immersed in OBU, they have a better idea what they might be interested in.

Engage Week is the follow up to that.

“During the following three weeks the hope is for the students to meet more people, talk about these opportunities and begin to feel drawn towards committing to just one or two,” Stroud said. “By having intentional conversations with the clubs at their tables, students are able to have conversations with the leaders about why they are interested in the club and what they can do to become involved in it,” she said.

“The true purpose of joining a club or organization is to help students determine where they can connect with others better.

“A large percentage of our student body is very active and involved and others have a more challenging time finding their place,” Stroud said. “It is my desire for students to look for ways in their lives to serve others, whether that is in the church, a local ministry, through their field of study, Res Life or on an athletic team — there are so many ways to impact our sphere of influence for good.”

But, if students don’t see an area where they can fit in or want to see an area of improvement or change in the clubs and organizations, they should continue to strike up conversations with students and faculty around campus.

“Clubs on campus are a built-in avenue for serving,” Stroud said. “If a student is unable to see how their passions, interests and gifting fits, then I’d love to sit and talk it through one-on-one with them.”

By continuing to grow and extend OBU’s reach in the diversity of their organizations, students will be better equipped to reach students who have similar passions.

For more information, visit OBU’s website, okbu.edu. Under the Student Organizations, Club Sports or Intramural Sports tab, students can view all of the possible options for potential clubs.