By Steven Viera || Senior Editor
Last Wednesday, F&M’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) conducted elections for its eight executive board positions. The IFC functions as a judicial and advocacy group that represents all the
fraternities on campus.
“All fraternities abide— in addition to their national policies—to policies that come down from the North American Interfraternity Council (NIC), which governs the IFC, which then governs the individual fraternities, so it’s a hierarchy of governance where the NIC is at the top,” said Mark Rooney ’17, outgoing president of the IFC and a brother of Phi Kappa Psi, explaining the structure of the organization. “The IFC acts as an extension of the fraternities to advance the interests of fraternity life.”
As part of the IFC’s efforts to advance the interests of fraternity life, Rooney described one of his proudest accomplishments as president: organizing F&M’s first Fall Fest, a carnival and music festival for all students on Hartman Green. The IFC collaborated with WFNM, the Panhellenic Council (PHC), the College Entertainment Committee (CEC), and other organizations to plan and execute the event by securing bands, renting a stage, lighting, and other equipment, arranging for food, and coordinating their budget of approximately $25,000. Rooney was happy that F&M’s fraternities were able to mobilize their members to help make this event possible for all members of the campus community.
Additionally, Rooney reflected on the greater level of friendship between fraternities that arose during his time in office.
“There’s been a lot of breaking down the walls of rivalry that have come up by being in other organizations, and I feel like that has been crumbling away,” he said. “I feel that fraternities are being able to understand the policies they’re expected to follow and they’re able to communicate with each other in a respectful way and to use the IFC as an advocacy organization.”
IFC elections, which occur once a year in November, take place over the course of two weeks. In the first week, each fraternity has an opportunity—if they so choose—to nominate its members for any or all positions up for election, and in the following week, candidates give speeches before voting takes place. Only the presidents or delegates of the individual chapters can vote (that is to say, each chapter only gets one vote per position), and voting occurs by secret ballot.
The new executive board consists of James Galasso ’18, of Phi Kappa Psi, president; Mike Silbert ’17, of Phi Kappa Tau, vice president; Deek Medzadorurian ’17, of Sigma Pi, vice president of administration; Marko Savic ’17, of Phi Kappa Tau, vice
president of community relations; Jack Rothman ’17, of Phi Kappa Tau, vice president of programming and special events; Damont Hardnett ’18, of Kappa Sigma, vice president of finance; Ani Akpan ’18, of Kappa Sigma, vice president of membership and recruitment; and Max Oslan ’18, of Chi Phi, vice president of values and standards.
“I’d like to build the reputation that Greek men have with administration and ensure that there is trust between them,” said Galasso, explaining his goals as the new president of the IFC.
Looking ahead, Rooney said that the new board will need to look beyond enforcing policies and begin encouraging F&M’s fraternities to strengthen themselves, pointing out academic achievement and philanthropy as potential areas for improvement.
“I think now the time is to step up and to exceed all of those standards and be better than what we were previously,” he said.
Ultimately, he expressed a positive vision for the IFC’s future.
“I think the board is going to be great,” Rooney said. “The board seems like they’re going to get along and they’re eager to give back to the community and serve in this capacity to help the community and the campus progress further.”
Senior Steven Viera is a senior editor. His email is email@example.com.