Embrace It

I thought I’d share some musings I’ve had lately on Leadership and Greek Life. I’ve been thinking a lot on leadership and my style all month thanks to Kimberly White’s month long series on leadership, which you can find here: Life in the Yellowhammer State. And with Fall rush having been in full swing at the same time, it made perfect sense to reflect on those two topics.

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed how much I have changed and grown being a volunteer for my fraternity over the past 5 years. For those of you just joining my little blogging journey, I am a proud brother of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and volunteer my time to advising the chapters here in the Mitten State:

Alpha Zeta
Alpha-Zeta, University of Michigan
Delta Psi
Delta-Psi, Michigan State University
Omicron Rho
Omicron-Rho, University of Michigan-Flint
Sigma Zeta
Sigma-Zeta, Northwood University
Sigma Eta
Sigma-Eta, Central Michigan University
Sigma Kappa
Sigma Kappa, Grand Valley State University

I wasn’t looking to become a volunteer for my fraternity. But when the fraternity started our chapter at Northwood University, and I was asked to serve, I said yes. Since then, I’ve been asked to serve in multiple roles. In some ways it’s been the most challenging endeavor I’ve ever taken on while in other ways it’s one of the most rewarding.

The Brothers I get to work with challenge me. (And much to their chagrin, I challenge them right back.) But while I have hopefully helped them to learn the responsibility that has been handed to them to become better men and to improve society and their surroundings as well as themselves, I have found myself growing with them.

My leadership has changed in some ways due to my work with the fraternity and in other ways I have discovered new skills and perspectives working as a volunteer; Decisiveness has never been one of my strong suits, but over the past few years my confidence in myself has grown to make decisions quickly and as efficiently and purposefully as possible. I have learned to balance big picture and the small details. I have learned that being a leader does not mean everyone likes you, but rather everyone trusts you. I have learned how to get back up after being knocked down. I have learned to foster leadership and strengths in many of the young men I’ve had the privilege to work with. I’ve also had to learn to have some tough conversations and make difficult decisions that have resulted in some leaving our Order.

Greek Life is not for everyone, and its not perfect. But for me, I am the man, the professional and in the Student Affairs field because of my experiences as a Greek Life member. And the best part about being a volunteer, for me, is when it “clicks” with the Brothers and they step up and become leaders on their campuses and proving the Greek stereotypes wrong and being the best men that they can be.

And so to close, I want to say congrats to the chapters of Kappa Sigma Fraternity in Michigan for your successful rushes and willingness to share the gift of Kappa Sigma with your communities, large or small. Welcome to the new pledges and treasurer this time of learning and getting to know your new Brothers. To all, the road is difficult but rewarding, has its highs and lows, will change over time, and will challenge you to become better men but do not be afraid of the challenge, but rather embrace it.

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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