For many fraternities the start of winter semester means the start of a new administration. “Exec.” The very word earns groans from the house’s lazier brothers. But if you’re anything like me, i.e. not an ungrateful little shit, you’re bound to hold a position or two during your fraternal tenure.
While holding a position can be a rewarding learning experience, as many of you new exec members will soon find out, it can also be an experience as frustrating as a political discussion with one of your professors. Here’s a breakdown of a few positions, and what they didn’t tell you to expect when you went and decided to get elected.
House Manager aka Janitor
Welcome to a life of cleaning and fixing shit, a lot. I know you might have assumed that already, but until you hold the proverbial rusty hammer of the House Manager, you won’t truly understand the extent of your duties. Within two weeks you’ll become a wizard of drywall repair. The more impressive and annoying trail you will have also required is that of damage detective. Every hole in the wall, every broken table, every dozen used condoms gorilla glued to ceiling, all will need to be investigated, and for some reason that job falls to you. Every week your chapter report is destined to include an ever more desperate plea of: “and please guys, stop breaking shit,” at its conclusion. Of course that won’t stop them, but it’s worth a shot.
This one seems like it would be all fun and games. Instill the fear of God in some pledges, teach them a thing or two about brotherhood, think of new and hilarious ways to berate and torment, etc, etc. The perfect position, right? Not quite, as there are a few caveats that could cause concern. First, God forbid your house gets caught amidst a “brotherhood” (read: elaborate hazing mindfuck) event, your position will probably garner you a little attention. Holding any blunt objects threateningly, whether you intend to cause harm with them or not, can be a tad difficult to explain to the 5-0 as thirty frightened, blindfolded eighteen-year-olds are escorted out of the basement like recently freed POWs.
Also, you’re bound to be constantly reminded about how fucking annoying pledges continuously tend to be. You will be their liaison to the brotherhood. Even if you’ve done your job well and they are scared shitless of your very name you can still expect to receive 5-10 texts a day with questions ranging from “When is the National Exam?” to “Are you guys going to verbally tear us a new asshole tonight, or can I study for my Calc final?” Yes, you little cocksucker, we’re going to destroy your respective egos tonight, now leave me the fuck alone.
I may have to check a thesaurus for this one, but last I recall “fraternity” and “responsibility” are not exactly synonyms. That’s where you come in. Any time a brother fucks something up to an unacceptable extent you are going to have to hear their case and determine the proper course of action.
The first thing you can expect is to hear the excuse “I don’t know what happened, I was blackout drunk,” more times than you thought possible. In fraternity justice that’s the equivalent of pleading insanity. While in some cases this may be an acceptable excuse, most of the time when something gets bad enough to be handled by Judicial it’s more than a petty punched hole in the wall (that’s the House Manager’s problem). You’re going to have to determine the proper punishment for some potentially God-awful things. It’s not easy to look a pledge brother in the eye and tell him he can’t attend the next social. It’s even harder to explain that his drunken self is a menace to society and that if you have to you will incarcerate him in the study room closet next time he blacks out.
As rush week quickly approaches you will be (figuratively) sucking down a metric ton of freshman dicks. You are going to have to coordinate which potential members are being rushed, and where, and you will no doubt be implementing some new intricate system for organization.
The problem is that almost no one is going to listen to you. The brothers you see as try hard straight arrows most of the rest of the year are your best friends during rush week. God bless your unnatural dedication to the house sirs, now stop being weird and go talk to a rush. You tell people to show up at 8 for rush discussion and chances are your house won’t be full until 9. You tell them to be subtle about their rush drinking, but you climb upstairs only to see an older brother taking a bottle of Blue Label to the face. Some brothers will be a drunken liability during rush, and you may be stuck with hiding them from the ominous University demons promising a “dry rush.”
You will be so sick of freshmen by the end of this week, that you won’t ever want to speak with them again. That’s what happens when you’re forced to man-flirt to an obscene excess for the good of the brotherhood.
Did you read all of those problems that the other exec members will be facing? Yeah well all of them are your problem too. You will also be expected to answer or forward roughly 134 useless emails a day to touch base with various organizations on campus, including your own.
Every problem the fraternity has for the next year will be instantly relayed to you, even if you’re 200 miles away visiting home for the weekend for a break from your presidency. Even if it’s four in the morning. Even if you’re already answering for ANOTHER problem. Even if you’re in the hospital having a torn scrotum stitched up. You will ALWAYS be answering for your fraternity’s propensity to disturb shit. But pledges will respect you, girls will be impressed with you, and you will essentially become the face of your fraternity.
While you will still party a decent amount (every fraternity president aspires to have a JFK-esque social life), your presidential responsibility will always put you slightly on edge. If something goes down you will have to be ready to break out your sober face at a moment’s notice. By the end of your term, you won’t be able to resist breaking out a massive smile as you pass that gavel to your successor. But that’s a whole year away, and I assure you that that year will feel like five. Good luck, all your brother’s are counting on you, and kind of hate you now too.
Holding a position on Exec may not be inherently good or bad, but it is certainly a learning experience for an aspiring young gentlemen. Fraternities are unlike any other organization in the world, as our chief exports are debauchery and morally casually attitudes. Helping to run a fraternity isn’t exactly the same as a Fortune 500 company, but if you put the effort forth, the pride you will feel in making your house better is reward enough. Well as long as you aren’t president, because that job fucking blows.