Managing a fraternity is not an easy task by any means. Being responsible for a bunch of rowdy young men can be nerve-wracking and patience-testing. That said, behind every great house is a great constituency of officers that serve as it’s backbone. Without these folks, the fraternity would become nothing more than a bro-friendly drinking club that lives in utter filth (at least in my chapter’s case). Becoming an officer at my fraternity was one of the best collegiate decisions I met, so here are a few reasons that could persuade you to follow suit:
1.) Define yourself as a leader: no matter where your career takes you post-graduation, any company, whether for-profit or not, seeks leadership potential in their employment candidates. While there will always be a huge number of applicants with good grades, club membership, and relevant work experience, there is only a small subset of this population with leadership credentials. I know my experience leading my fraternity was one of the primary reasons I was able to secure my current position at Apple. Everyone at school has the chance to get good grades, but only a few will get the opportunity to seize the reigns of leadership. So get after it, it’ll pay off in the long run.
2.) Leave a legacy: If your house is anything like mine was, everyone has their own two cents on what the chapter should be engaged with, yet when push comes to shove, talk is cheap and relatively few ideas are ever acted upon. This has to do with the difficulty of uprooting longstanding traditions and the coordination required to put a widespread plan into action, amongst other reasons. Almost every defining characteristic of our chapter came directly from the ideas and execution of our past officers. If you have a vision for something your house can improve, replace, and/or change altogether, you’re supremely better off as an officer. Not only are you surrounded by the other, most dedicated members of the fraternity in your fellow officers, but you give yourself a platform to be heard (and listened to). It’s really easy to shoot-down an idea thrown out randomly by any general member, but if your vice president presents a coherent idea backed by the rest of the officers, chances are, your members are going to listen. If you want to make a lasting impression on your house and campus, get involved as an officer.
3.) Forge stronger friendships: As an officer in your house, you’ll get really close to the other members of your executive council. Not only are you meeting with these guys more often than the other members, but you’ll likely have to work through some tough spots together. These ‘tough spots’ can be as simple and fun as coordinating a social event last-minute to as complex and serious as navigating your school’s administration in order to keep your campus affiliation. Regardless of what ‘type’ of chapter you’re a part of, as an officer you will be relied upon to lead the house in the right direction. The only way this can be done is through the teamwork of your executive council, so you inevitably forge stronger bonds with the guys you’re ‘in the trenches’ with on a day-to-day basis. Even though I started my presidency surrounded by strong council as judged by merit, some of my deepest, lifelong friendships were forged during this year we spent together.
The benefits of stepping up to the plate and becoming a fraternity officer are wide-reaching, and these three are simply the biggest benefits I personally reaped. That said, there are numerous other reasons to take on a leadership role, but the message remains the same– you’re destined to grow during your time as a fraternity officer, whether it be personally, socially, and/or professionally. Good luck with your elections!