It’s transitioning season in Greek Life! Recently, SAE’s Michael Ford was sworn in as the Interfraternity Council’s president, a position that will require him to oversee other VP positions while “perpetuat[ing] the advancement of fraternal movement at Carnegie Mellon University” (CMU IFC). Though the position is ambitious, strong-willed Ford seems up to the challenge.
Like many other CMU students, Mike was never dead-set on joining Greek Life until he saw what it encompasses at CMU. “What I love about our Greek Community,” he says “is that we are great at countering the stereotypes that are sometimes sustained at other universities.”
Initially, Ford focused on his own fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, serving as the chapter risk manager. It wasn’t until his Greek advisor encouraged him to consider the IFC that Mike looked into it, and he doesn’t regret taking her advice. “Joining the IFC Executive Board really expanded my collegiate network,” he says.
Mike moved his way up to the IFC presidential role by holding two other executive positions (VP Member Development and VP Risk Management) beforehand. “By serving in two executive positions and facing their respective challenges, I may be a step ahead,” he says, confident that his previous experiences will allow him a smooth transition into the presidential role.
Mike follows in the footsteps of former IFC president and fellow SAE brother, Peter Pacent. It seems that Pacent’s success as president may have piqued Ford’s interest in the position: The two were freshman roommates and have spent a lot of time together since, allowing him to watch Peter “deal with the challenges of the position for the past few months.”
“Honestly,” jokes Ford, “I almost feel like I’ve already served a term [as IFC president].” Mike adds that his closeness with Peter will aid in “strategic planning for the [fraternity] community”, allowing the IFC to “move forward with some higher-level plans.”
Sounds like he’s got it all figured out. But what does Mike envision will be his biggest presidential challenges?
“People often relay to me that the Greek Community is a bubble, exclusive from the rest of campus. I would like to challenge that point as IFC President [by] reaching out to more student leaders and faculty to get their input on how the Greek Community affects them,” he explains.
Though meeting these goals will be time-consuming, Mike doesn’t seem to be slowing down in any aspect of his life; he’s smooth sailing with his MechE plans and spends numerous hours working on the formula race car for CMU Racing. As for fraternity activities, Mike loves Greek sing, and would “hate to lose that [musical] part of [his] life,” particularly because he comes from a musical family. “If I must withdraw from something”, he admits “it would end up being Buggy, but only because some of SAE’s athletic new members have shown a strong interest in it.” Even if he were to give up buggy, Mike would still stay in shape — he frequents the gym in accordance with the mantra, “sound body, sound mind”.
Mike also understands the importance of taking a break from his hectic schedule, with his go-to destressers including foursquare, (you might’ve witnessed this on the SAE porch), billiards, or watching “a nice TV show.”
Though he has seemingly impeccable time-management, Mike admits that “finding time to be everywhere” might be a challenge as IFC president. Nevertheless, he understands the implications of such an important leadership position and doesn’t seem to plan on slacking in the slightest.
“At the end of the day,” he says “my job as IFC President is to serve the members of this Greek Community, and to be their voice.”
With Michael Ford as president, it seems safe to say that the future of the fraternity community is in good hands.