Seriously? Does this question need to be answered?
Apparently, dear reader, the answer is yes.
While it seems like every sorority sister would aspire to become their chapter’s president--the pinnacle of a sister’s achievement as a lettered member of her organization--the truth is that not every sister wants to be a sorority president; nor is every sister cut out for the job. It’s helpful to think of the sorority president role not as the top of a hierarchy, but as a central cog in a machine that requires a bunch of equally-sized cogs to function. There is no shame in going after a job within your sorority that isn’t the president, especially if you think you wouldn’t be very good at it. Like treasurer, vice president, recruitment chair, social chair, or any other position, sorority president comes with a specific set of responsibilities that some are naturally inclined to be good at, while others may not be.
Let’s take an imaginary scenario. Ashley runs for president. In the past she’s been shown to have few leadership skills or broad-picture thinking, she’s extremely shy and at times a pushover, and couldn’t manage her way out of a hat. Though she may be an awesome sister--one who’s better at small-scale, specific tasks, and usually works better under someone else’s direction. As good a speech as she gave, overcoming her crippling stage fright and nervous flatulence--the question remains: Should she really be your next sorority president?
So the first step to becoming a sorority president is being the best woman for the job. If you truly think you aren’t, run for another job you’d be better at, or develop those presidential skills over the coming semesters. But once you’ve figured out you are right for the job, you’ll want to make sure the majority of your sisters agree. That’s why OmegaFi would like to help you stump for the upcoming elections, and answer once and for all, Who Wants to Be a Sorority President?
Good Sorority Presidents Think Beyond the Rule Book
Notice we didn’t say to throw out the rule book. No decent sorority president would blatantly ignore the guidelines and rules of the chapter, and in fact knowing how the chapter is properly managed inside and out is crucial to her success. But there will likely be more than one sister in your sorority who will know and follow the rules.
What will set you apart?
Simple. The answer is thinking ahead. A sorority president has to think ahead to solutions for problems your chapter is grappling with right now. She has to use the guidelines of how to manage the chapter to the best of her ability, by coming up with creative ways to approach issues. For instance, say the recruitment chair is slacking in her duties. She’s supposed to have talked to some Potential New Members, but she seems to falter on how to approach them. You’ll potentially lose some valuable new sisters. As president of your sorority, you have every right to kick her out and get someone else to do the job. In fact, the regulations suggest it. However, you have to think about this problem from a different angle: Is the current recruitment chair unable to do her duties, or is she just lacking confidence? Perhaps you could guide her, and come with her to a few of these meetings so she can see how you’d conduct the interviews with other PNMs. Help her be the best recruitment chair she can be by being a leader. If that doesn’t work, then find another sister to do it.
In other words: Show your sisters that, if elected, you want to be there for them, not just boss them around. Show them you have innovative ideas that make the sisterhood stronger. And give at least a handful of actual, specific solutions you want to enact once you’ve got the job. Give them thought and make sure they’re issues your sisters care about as much as you do.
Good Sorority Presidents Listen
Ruling with an iron fist is good and all, but if you go in there telling your sisters you want to be sorority president so you can turn them into a well-ordered paramilitary unit, spoiler alert, you aren’t getting many votes.
Sisters already know there’s an authority that comes with the job of president, but real authority means you don’t have to wave it around like a stick (also, please don’t wave a stick at your sisters). Confidence in your abilities, and the wherewithal to use them effectively, is what real authority looks like. Let sisters know that, if elected sorority president, you want to run things as democratically as possible. You’re there to help, to listen to what shape sisters want their chapter to take in the future, and to guide the chapter toward excellence rather than bludgeon it with the rule book until it screams for mercy. Think of yourself as the “authoritative” parent type; you’re not an authoritarian or a pushover, but somewhere between the two. You seek balance and to build strong bonds to make the chapter as efficient as possible, while keeping the human element intact.
Good Sorority Presidents Understand How Software Can Help
We’re not saying you have to be a computer programmer/hacker like in the movies, sitting in a basement somewhere in Moscow having code wars with the CIA. In fact that’s probably not the best idea for anyone these days.
The point is this: A good sorority president has a handle on the newest sorority software for financial management, recruiting, chapter management and more. It’s not necessarily the president’s job to demand that certain software be used and that she manage the use of each program. However, she can explain to her sisters the importance of software in guiding sisters in their tasks, and if the chapter isn’t currently using software, she can talk with nationals about how software might be implemented to the sorority’s overall benefit. Do your research, and know what the specific benefits are that can enhance your chapter’s (and sorority’s) goals.
These are a few of the major factors that we feel, if illustrated to your sisters, will show them that you really do want to be a sorority president. And it’ll show how effective a sorority chapter president you will truly be.
What qualities do you look for in a sorority president? Let us know in the comments below!