We have an unpaid job opening available for you. The only real perks are some face timing and a possible résumé builder.
The only real downsides are: most of your friends will start to hate you, you have to drink less, you have to get up early and abstain (at least mildly) from alcohol for every football game and any big basketball game, and you will have to talk to old ass people who have coffee on their breath and Bengay on their fingers because they give your house lots of money. You will also have to field between 50-200 emails a day that have absolutely nothing to do with you, and make friends with 30 other tools and bitches who head up their own respective Greek organizations. Best of all, you will be held individually responsible—legally and otherwise—for any and all mistakes made by your brothers when the cops get involved. And if anyone dies? That’s completely your fault too.
Oh and did we mention we don’t pay you?
Welcome to the life of a Fraternity President.
I know—that spiffy title and that cozy spot atop the composite makes all the shit you will inevitably have to wade through completely worth it. With a little luck and a very silver tongue, you’ll win the general election. After you do you’ll have a raging fratboner. Your excrement smells fresh to everyone at first, which is nice, because you used to be the only asshole who thought your shit didn’t stink.
But at no point does the narcissistic joy of winning your house’s presidential election wear off faster than that first night reserved for upholding “Tradition.”
Tradition: noun, meaning “a pointless activity, established and honored on an inevitably inconvenient night.” Yes, we all uphold them to be sacred, or whatever. But pause for a moment and consider the logistical logic.
Chances are your house probably underwent a massive membership reduction or a complete shutdown at some point in the past 30 to 40 years. So the average shelf life of any tradition is inevitably between 5 and 20 years. That’s younger than the kids who are screaming into the pledges faces’ “THIS RITUAL IS FUCKING ANCIENT!! SHOW SOME RESPECT YOU DICK SHITTERS!”
Still, you have to convince a house full of dudes who probably only joined for the pussy, pints, pills, and, uh, more pussy, to honor an activity established by an unrelated group of guys who also probably only joined for the pussy, pints, pills, and even more pussy.
Oh, and don’t’ forget, the only “L” word a Fraternity leader has mastered besides getting “laid” is “lying.” So you have no idea if this tradition actually existed or if some group of assholes along the way just made it up to satisfy some ulterior motive.
Most of the time, the tradition in question is profoundly retarded—but you still HAVE TO DO IT. You’re president, so if it is indeed a retarded tradition, its pointlessness is your goddamn problem, even if you never wanted to do this asinine shit in the first place. My particular chapter got blown off campus in the 90’s in the midst of what Dr. Gonzo would call, un problema cocaine. THOSE dudes probably had a badass tradition.
Well over a decade later the chapter has come a long way since the members were practically skiing down the hallways while songs like The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” blared across the house. When a chapter recolonizes with an emphasis on NOT doing a shitload of drugs, it means they establish the absolute worst brand of traditions: sober bro nights. Somehow, those traditions lasted.
A few days after I assumed presidential power I had to deal with one of those traditions. When you have to convince sixty college-aged men to give up their last night of freedom before classes resume your voice becomes somewhat unwelcome. Instead of over indulging upon their poison of preference and spitting, slaying, swooping, or striking out– depending on your organization—you drive sober to a random, “meaningful” location 20 miles away to chant your fraternity song for 45 seconds RIGHT AT MIDNIGHT…before driving back to the fratcastle.
Only half the dudes show up to chant, but 100% of the try-hards and legacies, so there’s the inevitable bitching about how the “tools” (read: brothers who know how to talk to girl without falling straight into the friend zone black hole) stayed back and partied. God what you’d give to be back there with them… maybe you should, sweet Jesus, you just left the prison to the inmates. That’s the kind of anxiety you will have to table for ten minutes. In the meantime, on with the tradition.
Meanwhile after the tradition mercifully ends you have a half hour drive back to campus to figure out if it’s worth staying up an extra three or four hours making sure the drunken assholes don’t tear the house apart before class at 10 am. Or you can sleep and bank on giving out a handful of fines the next day. Most people won’t pay them, because really what the fuck can you do to them?
Always remind yourself of this: they didn’t elect you for being the most badass dude of all time ever. They elected you because you have a passable sober face, because you can talk your way out of anything, and because you ran against the functional alcoholic slob and the persistent nasally rich kid on election night.
Here it is, in all the glory you’d expect from an elected position as the Fraternal principal and communal scapegoat. With every glorious perk comes a hundred miniscule and tedious duties. Enjoy it, Mr. President. You’ll spend the next year trudging through a pipeline chock full of bullshit—and you asked for it.