Dinner is a milestone tradition at Meredith College. Meredith Alumnae can be spotted worldwide by the Onyx ring that they received at their Junior year Ring Dinner. Unfortunately, many Junior Class Wings students were unaware that they were eligible to participate in this tradition. By the time they were made aware of Ring Dinner being so soon, it was too late in the year to buy a ring and RSVP for the Dinner.
This Meredith Onyx ring has been the Meredith Class Ring since a student committee designed it in 1953. The ring includes a black onyx stone engraved with the Meredith seal and an oak leaf impressed on the band.
While all students with sixty credit hours are eligible to buy the ring, most will wait until the standard time of Junior year so that they are receiving it with their class. Non-traditional students usually come in with many college credits. Still, they are considered first-year students, which leads to them not being added to the correct class email lists to participate in traditions.
The Herald reached out to the Wings program president, Valerie Rodriguez-Jusino, who stated that they “did not know that [they] could ask to be added to the Class [of] 2023 email group until last spring semester.” I also spoke with an anonymous Wings student who said that they “wish [they] had automatically been included [in the email list] and then given an option to opt-out,” when asked about the email delivery system.
The Herald also spoke with the Director of Student Leadership and Service, Cheryl Jenkins, to inquire more about this situation. Jenkins stated that she was “made aware [on Oct. 4] in [the] SGA Executive Board meeting that a Wings student attending [the] meeting was not aware of Ring Dinner or ring sales.” Jenkins said a message was sent out later that week that “encouraged any Wings student interested in Ring Dinner to attend and provided key details about the event, including ticket sales, attire and how to find more information about the loaner ring program.”
The Herald also talked to the Director of Alumnae Relations, Hillary Allen, who was not aware of the exclusion of Wings students, stating that they are “so sorry to hear about [it] and would welcome ideas and recommendations on better methods of sharing information about ring sales.”
Anonymous Wings students shared how they felt about the whole mishap after the email was sent out. They stated that they “wish that more of an effort would have been made to make us [Wings Students] feel welcome and included once the mistake was realized.”
Efforts are being made to prevent this from happening in the future. Jenkins stated that “Moving forward, [they] will work with the Wings President to provide information that she can send out regularly for all Wings students to see. Also, [they] will have her send out a message to ask Wings students to join the class [email] listserv that most closely matches their class affiliation for receiving information about traditions.”
Everyone involved is saddened to hear that some students were unaware of the Ring Dinner and ring sales. Jenkins stated that the Office of Student Leadership and Service “want[s] all Wings students to know that they are invited to Ring Dinner whenever it fits best for them as they reach that milestone in their lives. [...] Wings students are invited to all traditions, and we will work to ensure that invitation is clearly communicated in a timely manner.”
By Riley Heeb, Contributing Writer