Beyond the walls of chapter houses on the Hill, Greek executive boards work to keep Lehigh’s Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council chapters functioning.
Panhellenic Council president Margaret Burnett, ’17, said the overarching goal of executive board members is to keep their chapters operating efficiently.
“My main goal has always been to see the Greek community succeed,” she said. “I know we have so many good people with tremendous potential to do great things for Lehigh. My job is just to help keep things on track.”
Phi Delta Theta president Nicholas Wagner, ’19, said apart from the obligations of council members like Burnett, the responsibilities for individual chapter executive board members tend to delve more into the specifics.
Wagner said Phi Delt’s vice president meets with the other nine officers, leaders an officer council each week and handles other internal affairs of the chapter. Wagner deals more with alumni, nationals and the university.
Wagner and Burnett said an outsider could look at the hierarchical structure of Greek organizations like a small business. Burnett said chapters are like small companies that need structure and organization to function.
“The way that we look at it in Phi Delta Theta is like running a company,” Wagner said. “The President would be CEO, the treasurer would be (chief financial officer) and things like that. We also use the committee structure a lot, where every executive officer has a committee that they can turn to for help with things.”
Even with a committee to lean on, executive board members juggle a number of responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. Be it reaching out to alumni or organizing a chapter event, there is always something to do next, Wagner said.
“It can be overwhelming at times, just because there are so many things to think about,” Wagner said. “When it comes down to it, the president is the one responsible for making sure everything flows, and they’re the one who gets blamed if things don’t.”
Madeline Gordon, ’20, a member of Kappa Delta, said she admires the executive board members of her sorority and sees them as people who could consistently be counted on as leaders.
Gordon said executive board members should most represent the values of the chapter. They’re people the chapter can look up to.
The organization of Greek life allows respective chapters to function smoothly. Whether it’s a chapter treasurer or the president of the IFC, each role serves a purpose that enables Greek life’s success.
“A lot of times looking from the outside at a fraternity, it doesn’t really seem like all that much might go on other than, ‘Oh, these guys are going to throw parties,’ but there is actually so much more than that,” Wagner said. “I never realized until I was president that there’s a lot of higher-level organization that goes on.”