All three of Ball State’s Greek Life councils attended the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values conference Feb. 2-4 and took home enough awards to make school history.
AFLV Central is the largest undergraduate conference for fraternity and sorority life that is value-based. All three Ball State councils — Panhellenic, Interfraternity and National Pan-Hellenic — won awards. Both PHC and IFC won seven out of the eight categories, and NPHC won four awards. Awards won included risk reduction and management, leadership and educational development and academic achievement.
“It honestly varies per year, but that was just the best we’d ever done," PHC president Jillian Fledderman said. "Last year I think we won four or five. I can’t remember exactly, so it was quite a big difference
Last year, Fledderman also attended AFLV as vice president of member development. The seminars she attended then were based on the areas she was passionate about, such as body positivity and mental health. This year, she attended seminars to help her develop more as a leader for the council.
“The whole purpose of the whole weekend was just so that we could grow as leaders and find out more information, and find out what other councils all around the country are doing," Fledderman said. "It was a really cool networking experience and we got to learn a lot and make goals for this upcoming year so that we could better ourselves."
Trevor Holland, IFC president, took away several lessons from the conference, including how to be an authentic leader and the importance of showing transparency and authenticity to the people he leads.
“[I learned] how to really interact with [the other officers on the council] and kind of motivate them just by being myself," Holland said. "Sharing my knowledge with the chapter presidents in a uniform and clean way and always letting them know that I’m also a person too, so that if they ever need anything, they can come to me. We’re elected leaders, so we want to be the person, that rock that kind of holds our community together.”
The awards won at AFLV were based on binders assembled by the 2016 council, since new councils are elected in November, the same month the binders are due. Both Fledderman and Holland served on the 2016 council as well, which gave them personal ownership of the now award-winning binders.
“For us, it was especially exciting. It was exciting for the school in general [and] for everyone else,” Fledderman said. “But for [Holland and I], as we had been on the council already, it was kind of like a personal, 'Oh yes, we won.' I know for me, the leadership and education binder is the one that I helped make and it got an award … you feel that personal ownership.”
Natalee DeJohnette, NPHC president, also attended AFLV last year, and said she will take the lessons she learned back to Ball State to better herself and her council.
“I can’t wait to implement what I learned — communication skills, how to run a council and things like that,” DeJohnette said. “[NPHC’s] main goals this year are to work on our visibility on campus. Since we are so small, we kinda get looked over sometimes, so definitely just to build in every way possible as far as visibility and recognition and getting more members to join. We’re really excited to work on that.”