It’s tough being a fraternity president. It’s a thankless job, and the void where gratitude should be is instead filled with “fuck yous” and a blatant disregard for their authority/human dignity. President Harry Truman once, in reference to the ultimate responsibility and accountability of his office, declared, “The buck stops here.” So, too, does the buck stop with a fraternity president, though that usually just means he’s the one getting cuffed when no one fesses up to writing the chapter’s letters in fire on a rival fraternity’s lawn. Knowing the luck of fraternity presidents, he probably won’t be able to escape that situation by simply offering to pay for a re-sodding either. Chances are there was some unfortunate collateral damage, like that rival fraternity’s house mom’s cat, which was caught in the blaze and burned alive. Now he’s getting an animal cruelty charge from overzealous college town police officer Todd Storm.
When the president isn’t spending his time suffering the consequences of being legally liable for the actions of 60+ aggressive alcoholics, the poor guy spends his days reading useless emails from a thousand different sources, attending even more useless meetings, and then reading emails recapping those meetings. In this way more than any other, being a fraternity president prepares you for your professional life. Oh, and he’s running the day-to-day operations of the chapter, because half of exec is useless.
Because of all this, the president doesn’t get to let loose as much as the rest of the actives. If there’s a party, he’s sober(er) than the rest of the chapter. During hell week, the president is usually the guy reeling in the pledge trainer, not the one egging him on. It’s a dutiful life, that of the fraternity president. However, once in a while, the fraternity president has a chance to blow off a little steam. When he does, it usually goes in these stages:
1. Stress Relief
When a president starts drinking, or even has a drink, this is often the initial motivation. Chances are it’s been a long week, or a miserable chapter, or a stressful meeting with IFC and the Greek Life office about a panicked, tearful voicemail they received over the weekend, left by a hotel night manager from the venue where the chapter held their formal. Something about a small mattress fire, some bewildering combination of public anal sex and public urination, and the hostile takeover of the hotel bar.
The point is, the president needs a drink. A week of running the fraternity killed his spirit, and he needs some new ones.
2(a). Letting Loose
This is one of two possibilities extending from stage one. Assuming the president goes this way, then the stress has been (temporarily) relieved. The president is feeling a good buzz, and now it’s time to have a little fun. He’ll play a few games of beer pong and give the pledges some shit. He starts to think, “Fuck it, these guys aren’t so bad. Maybe I got a little too worked up about someone upper decking the Kappa house mom’s toilet.”
Like massages, not all glasses of scotch have a happy ending, no matter how smooth the drink, or your delivery of the sentence, “Give me a palm task and I will bestow to you a large sum of extra congratulatory money” in Vietnamese, turn out to be. Fucking Google Translate.
If the president has gone from stress relief to spite then he’s in a dark place. He’s probably had to deal with the alumni recently, or the fraternity’s accountant, or the formal hotel’s GM. Probably all three. His soul and sanity have been eroded by the members’ unwillingness to not be terrible people.
He’ll sit there, drinking quietly in his room, maybe with one or two equally bitter lieutenants, and listen to the fun and debauchery out in the hallways, growing madder with every sip, every distant, loud, ambiguous crash.
3. Man of the People
No matter what happens in stage two, eventually the president will lighten up, because drinking. He’ll either get drunker and move here seamlessly from letting loose, or he’ll go out to investigate one of those loud crashes and get sucked into the fun. After all, he’s still in a fraternity.
Basically, by this point the president is drunk enough to stop giving a shit. This is a good time to ask him for something, because chances are he’ll grant your wish. He’s like Don Corleone on the day of his daughter’s wedding, except drunker, and possibly more willing to order murders. He also just wants to soak up the goodwill. Look at me! I’m being cool!
“Hey [president], can you open the kitchen so we can cook five gigantic boxes of bacon, thus decimating our supply for the next two weeks and pissing off our cooks?”
“Wha? Ehhhh fug it. Cook me some I want half to eat.”
When the president wakes up in the morning to have his hangover greeted by an indignant cook and a pissed off email from the chapter advisor reiterating that members ARE NOT allowed in the kitchen at night, nor are they allowed to store beer in the industrial fridge in the kitchen, let alone the freezer, where a case of beer was left and later exploded, the cycle will begin anew. Watching the pledges get frostbite from scrubbing the freezer will be a minor consolation, at best.