Running for fraternity president can be a daunting task, but the reward is very worth it.
This question was submitted by one of our readers.
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When I pledged to my fraternity, I knew that I wanted to make a permanent positive change to the fraternity. I wanted to help lead and make the important decisions along with my fellow brothers. I was elected to pledge class Vice-President and basically ran (our pledge class president didn’t do much at all) perhaps the most motivated and influential pledge class our fraternity had ever seen.
Needless to say, when I ran for the Secretary position on executive board in the late fall, I won. I’ve completely revamped our website and done a great job so far. I want to be President of the fraternity next year as a Sophomore. I feel that I definitely have the Sophomore vote, but how would I go about getting the Junior and Senior vote?
I feel like a command respect from all of the guys that are my age and younger, but I can’t quite gain the respect and notice a president would need from the older guys. Any help would be appreciated.
I applaud your ambition. Chapters everywhere need young leaders to step up for the betterment of their fraternity and the Greek Community
I actually wrote an entire chapter of my book on running for fraternity president and how to win. In 11 pages I detailed a 6 step strategy which will get you elected. Here is a short summary of what I wrote:
Step 1 – Have you earned the right to run?
This is a huge step for you. As a sophomore, you will not have the experience as a lot of the older brothers. You must be sure you command the respect of your brothers before you can even consider running for fraternity president. This chapter will show you how to determine if you have the respect you need to get elected.
Step 2 – Do you understand the needs of the brotherhood?
A leader is determined to serve the needs of his fraternity, not the other way around. If you don’t know what your brothers want, there is no way you will a successful fraternity president.
Step 3 – Develop your platform
You need a succinct way to describe what you are going to accomplish as president. This is a critical communication step and is especially necessary for a younger brother. I include an example of how I would organize a platform in this chapter.
Step 4 – Discuss your platform with your brotherhood
This is a very time consuming, but necessary step. Your brothers need to understand what you plan on accomplishing, and why these goals are important to you. This will show the older brothers who aren’t as familiar with your ideas why you should be elected fraternity president.
Step 5 – Election speech
Right or wrong, some brothers are going to be on the fence even if you have done steps 1 through 4. That makes it important to give a solid election speech. Almost as important as what you say is how you say it. The brotherhood is going to be see you in front of them for the first time when you give this speech. They will make up their mind if they can see you there permanently as fraternity president when you are speaking.
Step 6 – Deliver on promises
If you get elected, but don’t deliver on your promises, you will be doing a huge disservice to your fraternity. Your integrity is always being put to the test, and is a critical trait for a fraternity president.
That is a short overview of what you need to do to get elected. I obviously go in much greater detail on how to accomplish each step in my book (which I encourage you to check out), but this should give you the basics.
I also think it is a good idea for you to check out this article on How I Lost My First Election for Fraternity President. It will give you some insight on an experience I had, which sounds very similar to yours.
Good luck on your fraternity election.
To learn more, check out our most in-depth article on being a fraternity president: How To Be a Great Fraternity President