Chapter…mother fucking chapter. Chapter might be the ultimate soul sucking experience in Greek Life. That’s because chapter is the type of agonizing meeting that simultaneously takes time from and off your life. You know, the kind generally reserved for Mondays at bland corporate parks destined to be riddled with bullets by someone who has attended one too many of these aforementioned meetings. At particularly excruciating chapter meetings, such as E-Board elections or new business debates over which random who-really-gives-a-shit sorority to pick for Homecoming, attendees might even start to lose faith in the democratic process. Don’t disagree, it CAN be that bad, and you know it.
I’ve always thought that a fraternity would make for an interesting case study on democracy, and I think one of the conclusions that would be drawn from this hypothetical study would be the same conclusion that we draw when reading shitty blogs or watching obnoxious cable news shows. In the fraternity, like in America, it is every person’s right to have a voice. But, as we all know, just because it’s your right to speak, doesn’t mean you should…and that’s usually because you’re a fucking idiot.
When a chapter meeting does turn into the conversational equivalent of Chinese water torture, there is usually only one thing to blame: the attention starved ‘tards who feel the need to cash in every second of their weekly mandatory relevance. Most of the brothers want nothing more than a quick resolution to any number of things they could give zero fucks about. Don’t get me wrong either, some issues deserve a healthy debate. However these “contributors” have the ability to turn even the most relevant discussions into two hours that are so painfully worthless you find yourself resisting the urge to fashion a blade out of your chair leg and commit seppuku.
The offenders generally fall into these categories:
The “Funny” Guy
The quotations probably tipped you off, but this guy is in fact not funny at all. He’s actually the complete opposite of funny. He’s the type of guy who usually only warrants laughter when he tries to sneak the She-Hulk he bedded the night before out of the house at 5:30am. This is the guy who makes seventeen voluntary remarks, each time fishing for a laugh. Everything he says is met by crickets and a mean but totally warranted “Fuck off and die” by the guy who showed up to chapter drunk. You know something awful is about to happen when that wry smile you desperately want to punch creeps across his face as he raises his hand. That’s quickly followed by a comment like this: “Motion to open discussion on why Scott likes it when dudes take craps in his mouth.” I hate you, “funny” guy. I hope a rhinoceros escapes from the zoo and ferociously sodomizes you to death with its horn while your entire family and all your childhood heroes watch, for that is the death you deserve for wasting my time.
The Long Winded Guy
Who taught this mouth breather how to speak? Listening to him hopelessly grope in the dark for the right words is uncomfortable. It’s also annoying considering his lack of speaking skills pretty much guarantees that he isn’t intelligent enough to make a valid point. So, you know, those five painful minutes you just spent listening to him were totally worth it. “And I think, that, uh, at the end of, the uh, day, I guess, that uh, were we to not possibly consider the, uh, alternatives to, uh, what everyone is, um, suggesting, we might, uh, might not, uh, like, um, end up, um…yielding, I guess, the, uh, results that, uh, we were possibly, uh, hoping for.” So what you’re trying to say is that the option we’re discussing is a bad idea? THEN JUST FUCKING SAY YOU THINK IT’S A BAD IDEA! Lunar cycles aren’t as long as the time it takes this guy to express his opinion. Even fucking Anne Sullivan would lose patience with him.
This is the guy who finds it necessary to complain about every indecent thing the brothers have done over the course of the last week and police it at chapter. “Okay you guys, I think it’s really messed up that people STILL think it’s funny to throw stuff out the windows. Also I was walking this girl home from the house and she said someone, and I won’t name names, was a real jerk to her. This is not cool. It hurts our reputation.” Although his heart is actually in the right place he doesn’t understand that you don’t necessarily have to sound like a whiny gash to promote fraternal responsibility.
The New Guys
Pledges take note. Next semester you will be JIs, which means you will be attending chapter meetings for the first time. This also means you will probably have the uncontrollable urge to contribute to chapter discussions as soon as possible. Resist that urge. Saying things like “I just wanted to say that I agree with what Mike said. He made some good points,” does not make you a positive contributor to the discussion. If you feel the need to point out the obvious you might as well raise your hand and say “Yeah, hi, I just wanted to speak for a second. I’m fucking retarded. Thank you for your time.” Also please be careful about enabling the characters mentioned above. You’re new, so you might not be aware that the “Funny” Guy is actually the worst non-serial killer human being alive or that the Long Winded Guy sounds like he’s reading Braille aloud for the first time. Just be quiet and observe how the rest of the brothers operate during chapter. Eventually you’ll fit right in.
Maybe the best way to prevent people like this from dragging chapter on and on is to set time limits on as many discussions as possible. Each fraternity has different rules but I imagine that time limits are pretty standard parliamentary procedure. So unless something really deserves a thorough debate, I recommend opening new business like this: “Motion to open discussion on (insert topic), limit time to ten minutes.” Making the time valuable just might be what it takes to stop bastards like the above mentioned from stealing away precious time you could be using to not listen to them speak. As always, if you can’t identify one of these people in your chapter, it’s you. So kindly skip out onto an interstate.
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