For the 2021 spring semester, the Alumni Association is offering both virtual and in-person fitting for class rings during Ring Week from Feb. 15 to the 18.
Students have the option either to print out a ring sizing template, which was first offered last semester, or can come into the Alumni Association office and do the process of sizing and ordering in person.
“We’ll get everybody really, we’re not going to try to limit too much this time,” said Director of Alumni Relations Derek Snyder. “Last time we went by appointments, it was kind of confusing… But I think with the distance dots that we have outside, and everybody’s aware we cap out at a certain number, it’s a pretty quick process.”
Two Zoom meetings with Balfour representatives, scheduled for Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 at 10 a.m., will be available for students to ask any questions they have about the process of ordering the rings. The Pearman Alumni Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for students in the area to come in for sizing and to place their orders. Different sizing stations will be available and sanitized after each person has gone through.
According to Snyder, one thing students should keep in mind is to pay attention to ring size.
“A factor that goes into sizing is the time of year, if it’s hot your hand typically will swell just a little bit,” said Snyder. “If it’s cold, your fingers may be, I won’t say shrunk, but they’re not swollen.”
If something happens to the ring, or students do find that they ordered the wrong size, Balfour offers a free service of fixing it. Samantha Mora, director of events and engagement, reassures students who are nervous about the process.
“Sometimes your right hand is bigger than your left hand, or vice versa,” said Mora. “And it’s okay… because [Balfour] can change it for free. I think people really worry about it being perfect, [but] we can fix anything on a ring.”
If changes need to be made to rings in the future, may can be done for free, including resizing. Balfour also offers a one-time change for degree or graduation year changes.
Ring Week is another step in the graduating process that students look forward to from their freshman year. Alyssa Wharton, a junior education major from Nacogdoches, is one of many students getting ready for the next step in their college life.
“I did not have a high school class ring, so this means a lot to me,” said Wharton. “I have been waiting for this since I started college and I am actually graduating a little early, so this is happening super fast and I could not be more thrilled.”
Wharton is also taking advantage of the online ring sizing template offered to students but has other ways to make sure she has the correct fit.
“I actually make jewelry and own my own business, so I have ring sizers for that, and I am using that to help me find a perfect size,” said Wharton. “However, Balfour has an amazing tool on their website that you can print out and wrap around your finger to find your size. I will be meeting with someone from Balfour through Zoom because it is really hard to meet with everything going on, and I try to only go to my job and go straight back home during this pandemic.”
Continuing the tradition, students can also look forward to participating in the Big Dip. Last semester, students were able to pick up their purple dye and do the ceremony at home. This semester, the ceremony is scheduled to take place in person under CDC guidelines.
Mora said the Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management Office is also helping to make sure the in-person event is safe.
“Everything, of course, is according to different COVID protocols,” said Mora. “We kind of have to work with different entities on campus to make sure everything is safe for the students who participate. We’re still working, with safety, what that’s going to look like.”
Even with the option for students to go in person for their ring sizing, they still have to keep in mind that things are not fully back to normal.
“We’re all in the same boat of trying to figure out the best move forward,” said Snyder. “We’re excited to bring the Big Dip back to some degree and Ring Week to some sort of normalcy. And we’re excited to do that because it’s a big step in their academic career to get the ring. It’s something that you can be proud of and show off for forever.”
Mora said the change in procedure should not discourage students from not getting a class ring.
“Ring Week is just kind of like a rite of passage. It's a celebration” said Mora. “It’s just this sense of excitement. So you get your ring. That’s kind of a diploma for your hand.”