With the new school year right around the corner and new executive boards for fraternities across the country ready to start their year in charge, I thought it would be an ideal time to tell all those new fraternity presidents out there what to expect from a former president.
First, you're going to have to be ok with going against your friends for what's best for the fraternity. This was the hardest thing I had to accept. Trying to tell a group of 40 sickos all the rules and regulations in our house because nationals said so isn't the easiest conversation you're going to have with your brothers. People are going to think you're just power hungry. That's ok. As long as you can look all your brothers in their eyes and know you just want what's best for them, that's all that matters. Brothers fight… as president you're going to have to take the bull by the horns sometimes and take criticism. It's like being the CEO of a large corporation, not everyone's going to like what you think… but when you know what's best, you need to realize why you're in the position you're in and make those tough choices. You need thick skin… it's not personal when it comes to what's best for the fraternity, always remember that.
Secondly, without realizing it you're basically an unpaid intern to nationals. You take weekly phone calls, you hop on zoom calls with entire districts, and you are the face and voice of your whole fraternity in their eyes. For me, it was more than I expected. Luckily, I had one of the best district grand masters and a couple of alumni advisors… without them I wouldn't have been able to handle all that was expected of me as president. Sometimes you can't go out to a darty because you have a zoom call with nationals, sometimes you have to wake up early after a night out to talk to the school with your alumni advisors. It's all part of your growth as a person while being president. Cherish it.. while in the moment it may suck, but it makes you such a better man at the end of the day.
Lastly, have fun with it. It's going to be a year where time just seems to fly by. Embrace the suck, embrace the arguments, embrace all trials and tribulations. At the end of the day you were voted in by the people you call brothers to lead the charge for your whole fraternity. It's an honor and privilege. People won't give you credit… that's fine. When your fraternity takes in record pledge classes, has crazy date nights, and more community service than ever before… I promise all your brothers notice, they may not tell you or show it. But they do.
Being president of my fraternity was and will be the greatest honor I have ever had. To see a group of 40 young men become a brotherhood that will never be broken, taught me more than anyone will ever know. I'm so grateful for my brothers. I'm grateful for all of you trusting me with everything this past year.
So to all the new president's out there. Good luck, embrace the suck, and make the tough decisions for your fraternity. Your brothers will thank you later.