This is America. We all hate our president. Just kidding. Sort of. Let me start with a story.
When I was a sophomore, the most evil woman to ever grace the planet was elected president of my sorority. I’ll call her Queef, as that is what my pledge sisters and I called her behind her back. Queef was horrible. She was mean, and political, and played favorites, and advised the chapter on what sizes to order our PR products by claiming she was a size 3, when she was very obviously a size 7.
She was a dictator, and her entire e-board, save our one heaven-sent treasurer, was comprised of her best friends. They were sneaky, and they made decisions that would best benefit themselves, not the chapter. They lied to us and they manipulated the newest pledge class. After pro-con-pros, they’d each stand before us and give speeches reiterating and reiterating their own opinions, until it became abundantly clear that the chapter didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. It divided our chapter. People disaffiliated. Things got catty.
What’s worse is that Queef had a serious vendetta against me. I’ve still never figured out why, because I didn’t become a hot mess until my junior year (which everyone seemed to agree was hilarious). Needless to say, I got to know standards pretty well that year. Queef wanted to make an example of someone, and that someone was going to be me. She ignored the bylaws, sat in on a standards meeting, twisted my words, and told everyone I was a drug dealer. As if. The whole situation went all the way to nationals, but blew up in her face when my entire pledge class, and older girls alike wrote to nationals on my behalf. From that point forward, I had immunity, because I had nationals on my side. I was the poor, innocent sophomore up against the evil tyrant (which was just what I needed to actually turn into the disaster she claimed I was). It was a rough year for me, nonetheless. To this day, I am filled with pure, uninhibited rage at the mere thought of Queef. She was just a bitch in every sense of the word.
My situation, of course, was extreme, but it touches on an issue that is important for everyone to remember. Your e-board matters. A lot. They can make or break your sorority’s year. They can make or break recruitment, and they can make or break your members. Elections are coming up fast, and when they do, it is important to really think about whom you’re voting for. Slating is a hellacious process, but you need to be there for it, even if you’d rather be somewhere else.
Do not vote for a girl just because she’s your friend. Vote for her because she’s the right person for the job. If you’re not invested enough in your sorority to know who’s the right person for the job, become more invested, or you will spend the next year regretting it.
Do not vote for a girl just because the older girls tell you to. In many cases, they do know what’s best, but your vote still matters. If your pledge class is feeling differently than the older pledge classes are, you should stick to your gut. You make up a big part of the chapter, and you should be making decisions that are best for everyone, not just the upperclassmen.
Do not vote for a girl without weighing in her chemistry with the other elected officers, and I can not stress this enough. You want a cohesive e-board that can work together, but you also want an e-board that is diverse enough to make informed decisions. Best friends often have the same opinions, and you need for your e-board to disagree on some things. When it comes to voting on homecoming pairs, or mixer themes, or PR items, or recruitment decisions, or ways to handle a scandal, or anything important to your chapter, you do NOT want for e-board to make a one-sided decision. They need to be fully aware of both sides of any situation to come to a conclusion that will benefit the chapter as a whole.
Do not vote the slate up just because you want to go home (or to the bar) and adjourn your chapter meeting. It’s not worth having one great night if you’re setting yourself up for one miserable year. If the slate is bad, vote it down. And vote it down. And vote it down. And vote it down, until you arrive at one that is the best option for your chapter. If you are nominated for a position during the slating process, even if it’s one you weren’t initially prepared to accept, take it seriously. Maybe presidency isn’t the best thing for you, but if it’s the best thing for your sorority, man up and accept the nomination. Trust your sisters, and trust yourself not to let them down.
The best defense against a bad president (or any other elected official) is not voting one into office. So, I urge you all to take elections VERY seriously this year, and every year. Unfortunately, a lot of girls don’t always realize the importance of this advice. So what happens when somebody takes a position when she shouldn’t have? What do you do when you’re stuck with a bad e-board or officer? One reader wants to know.
THANK GOD you are now giving advice because I have a serious issue and don’t know how to go about handling the situation. I accepted a bid to [chapter name redacted] and unfortunately so did another girl who I once had the unfortunate experience of associating with. This girl comes off as a genuine sweetheart but it doesn’t take long for one to realize just how ratchet she actually is. She’s pretty notorious here at [school redacted] (which is quite an accomplishment due to the 70,000 other students here). Everyone seems to think her eventual termination is inevitable.
I’ve tried to clear the air seeming as we will now be sisters. The reason I have finally reached out to you is because the situation has gotten more serious and something NEEDS to be done. She cried her way into getting elected pledge class president. She plans to “divatize” *gag* the sorority and wants us to work on gaining confidence so we can socialize with frat boys. I literally can’t even. What is important is SELF LOVE, which includes confidence. And obviously confidence is sexy, frat boys will want to socialize with us anyway. But she is the worst possible candidate for the position.
She misses meetings after molly benders, and I obviously REFUSE to share letters with this girl, let alone sit idly under her rule. When she took her position, she agreed to a ton of responsibilities which I know she cannot handle and should not have. So please, help me Hot Piece.
Note: Details have been omitted at the request of the sender.
Hey, girl. First thing I want you to do is take a deep breath, soak up some artificial UV rays, purchase a triple venti latte, and get a pedicure. Have you done that? Good. I bet you’re feeling a little better already. Now, let’s talk business.
As I’ve already mentioned, having an elected official you can’t stand can definitely take a toll on you. You will get annoyed by this girl throughout the semester. You will probably talk some shit, and you will probably find some girls who agree with everything you’re saying. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about the situation at hand, so you’re just going to have to learn to deal with it. This is going to happen throughout your life. This is just one of the first times you cared enough to notice it. You’re going to have sorority officers you don’t like, you’re going to have bosses you don’t like, and you’re going to have real live government officials that you don’t like. But once it’s done, it’s pretty much done. Don’t disaffiliate just because you don’t like her. That’s extreme, and that means she wins.
Venting will help, and I advise you to let it all out, but be cautious. Don’t talk about this girl to anyone unless you’re sure their loyalties lie with you, because it will get back to her, and she is technically the authority figure. Do not EVER talk about her somewhere that you can be overheard. You don’t want anyone from another chapter to hear you badmouthing a sorority sister, let alone an officer. It will not make anyone feel bad for you or your pledge class. It will ONLY make it look like you have a weak sisterhood filled with girls who don’t like each other. Be careful.
Realize, however, that while venting will make you feel better, it will not fix things. If you don’t like something a chapter leader is doing, it’s okay to speak up, especially if she’s in your pledge class. Be polite, but offer alternatives. Explain why you don’t like a change she’s trying to make, and come up with a solution to the problems you see. Saying, “Bad idea,” won’t get you anywhere, but offering a better one will. I know it’s scary to speak up in front of hundreds of girls, but someone will agree with you, and the easiest way to find the people who agree is to make some sort of announcement. People will back you up. Everyone is just too afraid to be the first one to say something.
If you can’t work up the courage to say something in your meetings, write something in the suggestion box, or go over her head. Set up a meeting with your pledge mom to explain your ideas or the things that are making you uncomfortable. That’s what she’s there for. You can bring a pledge sister for moral support. As long as you’re not letting your biases get in the way, when you speak, people will listen.
When an elected officer is really screwing up, everyone will see that, not just you, and the girl won’t be elected to more important positions in the future. A party girl has a place in a sorority, and that’s as social chair, so I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about this. If you can’t change the rules, you’ll have to follow them. You will have to attend her stupid events, and you will have to smile through them (at least when non-members are around), but outside the small facet of the chapter she controls, she has no power over you. Don’t forget that. The most important thing to remember is that her reign will not last forever. With many an eye roll, and your best friends in tow, you will get through it. You’re not alone. And when it’s over, pour a stiff one, shout out “Ding dong, the witch is dead!” and look forward to a new, less tyrannical year.