Michael Vorwald: IFC Chapter President of the week
This week's chapter president of the week is Michael Vorwald, president of Kappa Sigma. Vorwald is a rising Senior and is studying History Education with a minor in Spanish. He was constantly exposed to the fraternity and sorority life even as a young child, and that was a very big reason why he decided to rush. “There were several different reasons why I decided to rush. For one, I have a number of different family members that have been involved in Fraternity Life during their undergraduate years such as my grandfather (Sigma Nu, Northwestern), my father (Theta Chi, Northwestern), and my older brother (Sigma Chi, U of M). As such, I was exposed firsthand to all the positive aspects that could be associated with Fraternity Life (such as the lifelong friendships and meaningful leadership opportunities) beyond some negative stereotypes that are often associated with Fraternity Life.” Vorwald also wanted to rush to push his comfort zone and try something new. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to go outside of my comfort zone and meet a variety of different people that I otherwise would likely have never met while at MSU.”
Vorwald wanted to become chapter president because he wanted “to be the change I wished to see in my fraternity. I also thought that becoming a chapter President would provide me with a variety of challenges that would ultimately help shape me into a better person and provide me with useful experiences in my professional development (i.e. problem-solving and team-building) beyond my years at MSU.
Being a chapter president hasn’t come without its big challenges. “The best thing I’ve learned so far is that I am not alone in many of the challenges and difficulties that I face as a fraternity president. It’s reassuring to know that there is a great support system like the President’s Council and IFC e-board that I can talk to and reach out to with any questions and concerns as opposed to feeling like I am all by myself.”
Vorwald is very willing to advise future chapter presidents so that they can be the best that they can be. One thing he’d suggest is that presidents shouldn’t be scared to take chapters in new directions. “If you feel that we could do something better and that it would help us improve the fraternal experience for our members. An important thing to keep in mind is to always think about what you would want to see your chapter look like when you visit as alumni (either during homecoming or even just a general visit) five, ten, or even twenty years in the future. Going off that, then consider what are steps that you can take both in the short term with your current E-board to try and get these changes in the chapter while at the same time creating a framework that future Presidents and E-boards can utilize in continuing your legacy.”
One thing that Vorwald would like to see improved is the IFC GPA standing. “IFC, and an overwhelming number of IFC chapters in general, have had trouble with getting their average GPAs at/or above the average GPA of the general MSU male student body. Fraternity and Sorority Life should always be looking to be the leaders on campus to promote the best image possible, and we have not been upholding that leadership responsibility overall with regarding our academics.”
MSU has its fair share of large and small fraternities. As rush approaches in the fall, Vorwald suggests that freshmen and anyone else looking to rush would take a look at all fraternities before making a final decision. “I would strongly encourage that freshmen take the opportunity to look both at larger and smaller houses since there truly is a different house for everyone. If you are looking to join a Fraternity for (among many other reasons) leadership experience, joining a smaller house provides an amazing opportunity to build up a chapter infrastructure and recruitment model that will provide a better fraternal experience not just for you and current members, but also for future members. In other words, you could leave an organization in better shape than when you joined it.”
Besides leading a fraternity for most of the time Vorwald enjoys watching MSU basketball and football. He is also a “die-hard Cubs fan”. Besides sports movies and pleasure reading come as a close second.