Billhighway wanted to know what it really takes to be successful as a fraternity treasurer, so we did our research. After speaking with Joe McKeegan of the Iota Iota Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha at Michigan State University, we think we have found just that. Check out what Joe believes has enabled him to thrive in his role as his chapter’s treasurer.
Guest blog post written by Joe McKeegan.
I am currently halfway through my second term as the treasurer of a fraternity and have learned and adopted many different strategies and techniques that have helped me succeed. When people hear the word, ‘treasurer,’ they automatically assume it is someone who is a finance or accounting major. While those majors may make it easy to understand some basic terminology, it is not what makes a successful treasurer. You need to be honest, have a passion, be able to properly manage your time, delegate, and earn respect if you want to be successful.
Honesty. The number one characteristic you need to be as a fraternity treasurer is honesty. A majority of the fraternities around the world have very little oversight. Executive Boards (E-Boards) are elected by college students and have a minimal checks and balances system, if any. Your own fraternity brothers elected you to look out for the house’s best interest. This is an honor I take extremely seriously and would never abuse the job to benefit myself personally. This is not your money, this is your fraternity’s money. You need to be looking out for everyone who elected you worthy of the position because they put their faith and money in your hands.
Passion drives excellence. It is a fraternity’s goal to be considered the top house on their campus. There is also a goal to be recognized by your organization’s National as an elite chapter house. If you do not have passion or want to better your house, then give the position to someone else because you are going to fail. Passion will give you the drive and ambition to see problems and search for solutions. When you find solutions to problems your brothers start thinking of you as a true leader and it reaffirms their decision to elect you.
Time management. Do not think of this position as something you can just work on an hour a week. This is a job. Treat it like a job and I promise you will learn more from this experience than any class you have ever taken. You are a student and you know that entails countless hours at the library, study groups, searching for internships and jobs, clubs, hobbies, and work. These will always be excuses for why you couldn’t have done work for the fraternity. I am telling you in order to be successful you need to set aside a certain time every week to solely work on your a fraternity responsibilities.
Delegate. The more you work for the fraternity the more you will realize how much work there is to do. No one expects you to do it all. It is your job as a treasurer to oversee everything and make executive decisions based on your financial situation. Open up positions in the fraternity to other members and allow them to help you accomplish the goals you are striving for. This will not only take some of the burden off you, but also allow someone else a chance to see what it takes to be treasurer, the benefits, and hopefully instill in them the same passion and drive you had to take on the job.
If you embody these four characteristics as a treasurer, then you have accomplished the fifth, respect. Respect is never given, it is earned. If you work hard and do what is in the best interest of the fraternity, then you will earn the respect the position deserves.