Being the President of a sorority isn’t all rainbows and sunshine and voting on what kind of toilet paper to use in the house, like in Legally Blonde. Being elected President of a sorority is essentially a full-time job. Throw in the fact that the President is now responsible for the safety and wellbeing of all her chapter members during a Pandemic, and this job has become significantly more difficult. Amanda Green of Phi Mu Fraternity, however, held this position with grace.
Amanda is currently a senior at Florida State University (FSU), recently handing off her position to the new term’s President. When elected, she, like the rest of us, had no idea that the world would soon be turned upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless, she maintained a constant level of strength to keep her chapter both “safe and happy” through the quarantine and the return to hybrid learning this past fall. In a short Q&A, Amanda has given us insight into her life as a Panhellenic President at FSU during her 2020 term.
Her Campus (HC): How did you get this position (choose to run, etc.)?
Amanda Green (AG): I entered the formal recruitment process my freshman year with the intention of eventually serving the community, no matter what chapter I joined. I was a leader in my hometown and wanted to continue building and developing my leadership skills after moving away from home. After joining my favorite chapter, Phi Mu Fraternity, I was encouraged to apply for cabinet and assistant positions. After serving in those leadership positions, I was inspired and supported to do as much as I could for our chapter, so I ran for Chapter President! I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to serve and represent the best chapter!
HC: What challenges do you feel you individually faced acting as President during a Pandemic?
AG: As a Panhellenic President, I felt very supported by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life as well as our National Phi Mu Advisers. The most challenging thing for most of the presidents was creating a COVID safety plan that aligned with the CDC Guidelines, FSU Policy and our individual National Headquarters. Every plan had to be flexible and was constantly changing. It was especially difficult being the only point of contact for the chapter and being expected to know information before everyone else. Realistically speaking, most of the Greek Presidents found out information at the same time as the rest of the student body and were expected to make quick, effective decisions. I had to face the normal challenges that any chapter president faces regarding membership, social events [and] running the house in addition to conforming to new COVID regulations that changed daily. Most importantly, it was a challenge to keep members safe and happy.
HC: What do you think you learned?
AG: One of the biggest things I learned this past year was time management. We frequently had emergency meetings, whether they were through the chapter, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life or FSU Student Leader Meetings. For these meetings, you had to drop whatever you were doing and make sure you could attend. I learned how to get all my work done early, schedule and lead productive meetings and make sure my executive committee had everything they needed to run successfully when I had to leave Phi Mu.
I also learned a lot about communication and organization. I personally utilized Google Spreadsheets, Google Drive and Google Calendar to make sure all of my executive committee, advisers and fellow presidents would be able to see all my updates, plans and protocols in one place. I had to learn how to update these daily, if not multiple times a day, after communicating with all of my organizations. Color coding and folders became my new best friend!
HC: What is your favorite memory from the year, despite COVID?
AG: Despite the difficulties associated with COVID, I managed to maintain a positive attitude throughout the year. My favorite memories include the weekly President’s Council, leading chapter and spending time with my sisters living in the house.
I also really valued the time I spent with my family over the summer during the lockdown, even though I was still doing my Presidential duties. I received so much additional support, and that was very much needed.
HC: What advice would you give to future sorority presidents as the pandemic continues?
AG: If I could give advice to incoming presidents, I would tell them to make sure they manage their time, organize their Presidential duties and communicate extensively with all their constituents and peers. There are things not everyone needs to know, and confidentiality is especially important in a turbulent time like this. You learn quickly who you can rely on, and it is important to trust that important information is given to people only on a “need-to-know” basis. I would also advise that you make time to have FUN and treat yourself every now and then.
On a final note of advice, Amanda stated, “If you can schedule in your meetings, you can schedule in time for self-care,” a message that all of us, Presidents of Sororities or otherwise, need to hear as we continue living in such unprecedented times. Amanda’s kindness and drive were an inspiration to the entirety of the Phi Mu Fraternity chapter at FSU, and after hearing her responses and further understanding a bit about the former sorority President, she is sure to be an inspiration to our readers as well!