Most people see frat houses as groups of jocks looking to party and act immature during their college years. You can’t blame those people since most pop culture references to Greek Life portray them that way.
However, there’s much more to their organizations and leaders than movies and TV series would have you believe. Our article aims to explore the role of a great fraternity president, and you’re welcome to come along for the ride.
What Is a Fraternity President?
As with any other organization in the world, there must be a leader. In the case of fraternity houses, the guy in charge is the president. His role is to control the structure of chapter management, its officers, and committees. Even more importantly, frat presidents serve as moral compasses to their brothers.
Every fraternity organization has its unique structure. Within this structure, the president relies on his deputies to lead and serve his Greek house with wisdom and knowledge. Still, he isn’t more important than any other member of the frat house and only serves as the “frontmen” of the group. The president is the first among equals.
The leader of the pack is subject to the same rules as all other members. Also, a great president will treat all of his peers equally and with the same amount of empathy. He’s like an older brother others should look up to.
On the more formal side of things, the president of the fraternity acts as a chief executive that manages special events, expenses, and so on. He oversees committees and officers, enforcing bylaws and presenting himself as the chapter representative — a spokesperson if you’d like.
A Great Fraternity President Brings Ideas but Can Change His Mind
In most cases, the leader of a Greek organization on campus comes up with a plan for his leadership. The point is to showcase new ideas and ways of handling things. Of course, he should have a strong vision for the future development of the house.
This plan can include a new chapter project, a philanthropy idea, or even a strategy to improve recruitment. For example, he might have thoughts on how to improve the status of African Americans and other minorities on campus. Likewise, he might propose ways of modernizing the software his peers use.
However, one thing that makes a great president is his willingness to listen to his brothers. Unlike in teen comedies of the early ’00s, the leader isn’t some stubborn dude looking to make fun of nerds and score the prettiest cheerleaders. His role is to be the heart and soul of his Greek letter house.
A Great Fraternity President Learns on the Job
No matter how optimistic and bright he might look on the first day of the job, the president isn’t expected to be an expert from the get-go. He learns how to manage problems along the way, just like with any other career in the world. It’s simply the nature of things.
No one expects him to be perfect, and he will make mistakes. However, the important thing is how he deals with them and overcomes roadblocks during his time. The president can always call his predecessors and ask for counseling. You know, just like all American presidents interact with one another later in their lives.
On the other hand, attending National Panhellenic conferences and sharing experiences with other fraternities and sororities is a great way to learn about the nature of the job. By doing this, he can instill his leadership qualities in all peers and brothers. Also, there’s always the interfraternity council where he can seek tips and advice for his house.
The whole point is self-improvement and willingness to accept mistakes. Being blind about his own decisions is the worst thing he can do. Sharing good and bad is what it all comes down to in the end. Hence, he must learn to take punches and get back up.
A Great Fraternity President Earns Respect
In reality, most people mistake respect with being full-on control freaks. If the frat president is looking to lead by example, he mustn’t fall for that. He must earn respect by being respectful and eager to listen. Demanding someone’s obedience isn’t the same thing as commanding respect.
There are numerous ways to go about a presidency. For example, a great leader will dedicate his time to every matter equally. He must be fair and consistent. This is especially true when it comes to the discipline of his brothers.
A great president doesn’t have favorites. He treats everyone the same. In case he can’t come up with a solution on his own, he must consult his officers and resolve the matter by sharing everyone’s viewpoint.
Also, he needs to follow the rules of the house himself. In case he doesn’t, there’s no moral ground on which he’ll enforce them on others. The president is there to lead by example by being the one to look out for when in doubt. Only then can he expect everyone else to act accordingly.