Why You (Yes YOU!) Should Run for District Office
by Powers Bilodeau, Delta Sigma – KKΨ, Southwest District President, University of Texas at Arlington |
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0099FF;”]W[/dropcap]e learn a lot of names during the Membership Education Process. Bohumil Makovsky, William Scroggs, Adam Cantley, Jack Lee, and the like should all ring a bell in our minds. But there were a few other names that I learned during my process, like Sean LaFollette and Megan Polis, that were interesting in a different way. They were the names of my District Officers, and I was just as excited to meet them for the first time as I was to meet any of the other people I had learned about. After all, I had to answer test questions about these people, so they must have been pretty awesome brothers.
The first time I interacted with my District Officers was at a workshop in Tyler, TX, when they decided to have a personal meeting with the members of my chapter to talk about district activities. How cool was that?!? I got to have a personal meeting with the people I had learned about not four months prior. I got into the meeting, and my first thought was “whoa, these guys are regular students, just like any of the other brothers here.” Except they weren’t just any brothers, they were the ones planning and executing our district projects, programs and convention. During that meeting, I learned about what this small group of students was doing for an entire district of over 50 chapters. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
Then, at SWD Convention in 2009, I had an opportunity to get really involved in the selection of my district officers. I was sitting as a delegate on the Nominations Committee that year, so I got to see what kinds of people were being elected to serve the district. The most astounding thing to me was still the fact that all of these candidates were simply students who had an extreme passion for our organization. That weekend gave me new insight into how officers are elected and what it takes to perform any of those roles. After that, I began to consider whether I could fit the role of a district officer, and I set it as a goal for myself.
Well, now here I sit, one full year as a district officer under my belt, with another year to come. It has been an amazing experience so far, and one of the best leadership opportunities that any student organization could possibly provide me. But I’ve always had one question at the edge of my mind: why don’t so many other people consider taking on this role? I’ve met so many brothers who I thought would make amazing district officers, but none of them even seem to know that the opportunity is in reach! Think about it: if you try, you could be a part of your district leadership! In fact, whenever I see that an office in any district has gone unfilled, I can’t help but think how many people were qualified for the spot that just didn’t know (or were too scared) to try. Well, here I am to say that YOU (yes, you!) should consider running for district office, and here are some of the reasons why:
- You get to work with the most passionate brothers and sisters in your district. Do you love Kappa Kappa Psi? Of course you do. Well, I can say from experience that every person on a district council right now has just as much passion for our organization as you do, and they are also some of the most motivated people you will ever meet. I have made lifelong connections with the brothers and sisters I have served with, and their passion and energy have motivated me to give as much of myself as I can to this organization.
- You can make your district a better place to serve. The district councils do so much good for their chapters. Whether we are providing workshop opportunities, crafting awesome convention experiences, or personally interacting with the members of the district, we are putting a lot of effort into making sure our chapters are equipped and motivated to serve bands more effectively. In this case, I find that I’m not only serving my own band, but 55 other bands as well!
- You get to expand your “Brother Network” further! For many people, the true Kappa Kappa Psi “experience” is in getting to meet and become close to other people who share a similar passion: band and music. These people often become our closest friends throughout college. As a district officer, you have the opportunity to meet even more of your amazing brothers in music! In my time on District Council, I have interacted with brothers old and new, each of which have similar goals and passions as me. The brothers in my district inspire me, and I can honestly say that getting to know them has made me a better brother and a better person.
- The time commitment isn’t quite as daunting as you’d think. Here’s a little secret I want to pass along to you: being a district officer really isn’t much more time-consuming than being a chapter officer. I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s easy, but it’s a much different sort of time that you are spending. Within your chapter, you are dealing with day-to-day operations and responsibilities. In district office, your projects are bigger, but you aren’t necessarily dealing with them day-to-day. This actually makes the commitment a bit more flexible. What it all comes down to is effective time management, which is a skill that any leader should be looking to master anyway.
- You will be amazed at the support you receive. When running, you get to meet brothers you never knew before, and they will be incredibly supportive of you. When I first ran for office in 2010, I didn’t win, but the brothers who came out in support of me really motivated me to do as much as I could for this fraternity. You will earn the respect of your brothers just for putting yourself out there, and that support has motivated me throughout my time in the district.
These are just SOME of the reasons I can think of about why you should consider this. Think about it, this is one of the most amazing leadership opportunities that ANY organization can offer you as a student: the chance to organize projects and programs for an entire region of chapters. That alone should get your heart pumping. If you’re scared of running, don’t be. The opportunity that lies in front of you is SO much greater than the risk of losing, and your brothers will always be there to support you.
Keep in mind, any active or associate member can take on this role. If you have any questions about what it takes to be a district officer, ask one of your own officers! I know that any of them would love to answer your questions and offer advice from their own points of view. So start thinking about it now, and see what YOU can do to make your district a better place to serve our bands!