A Letter From President Max Harberg
60 Years ago, my grandfather was in a fraternity, 40 years ago my father, 20 my uncle, 2 my cousin: all here at the University of Texas. In 60 years, I want my Grandkids to be able to say they had the opportunity to carry out the same tradition. This is only going to happen if we come together and create cohesive initiatives to keep Greek Life thriving for the next decades. My name is Max Harberg and I’m ecstatic to be your 2019 Interfraternity Council President for the sole purpose of celebrating, preserving and enhancing the tradition of the 100+ years that IFC has given to the University of Texas.
2019 is going to be a crucial year for Greek Life here at Texas and nationwide. We have all seen the news, heard the negative stigmas, and know the hammer is coming down on us. It’s up to the men of the interfraternity council to work together and make sure the Greek Community and those watching us, understand the positive and safe aspects IFC provides to a colligate male’s university experience especially the life changing relationships the fraternity process creates. This is the heart of my platform.
First, the inclusivity of brotherhood and networks made through your fraternity is something that is hard to achieve elsewhere. I want the IFC to work with the University and other councils to have a first annual IFC event, open to other councils and all fraternities to participate in- this event will promote relationship building amongst the organizations pursuing fraternal bonds, in all forms.
Second, as we know, alumni are always solicited to donate to our fraternities. Often years after being in college, alumni often forget their full experience and why they should contribute back to their college fraternity- to help the next generation receive the same opportunities. I want to spearhead the first ever IFC wide alumni event, allowing alumni to come back and network, years after graduation, reminding themselves the importance of colligate fraternal movement.
Third, is creating a respected role for the IFC Executive Board. After surveying the presidents over Winter Break it has come to my attention that often times chapters feel attacked by the interfraternity council. Some presidents stated, “last year was a good year because they never heard from IFC.” This is something I strive to change. By completely transforming the cabinet and creating a thorough program plan, I want to be able to provide resources for chapters regularly. Things such as opportunities for rush and philanthropy event sponsorships, resources for academic achievement and mental health awareness educational programs are all part of the plan 2019.
Fourth, transparency, communication and trust is something that is necessary for success. By providing IFC’s first ever weekly/timely email and holding “closed sessions” within our General Assembly meetings, and Chapter visits, we will be able to address this issue. With these three initiatives, chapter should not only never feel blindsided, but feel confident that IFC is on their side.
As we all know there are three elephants in the room that need to be addressed. We need to move forward addressing each in safe and effective manner:
First, is overconsumption of alcohol. We have taken great strides as each fraternity has moved forward in educating their members and ensuring members know the effects of excessive drinking. All of our national fraternities are dealing with this and are coming out with programs and policies. We need to be collaborative with our national fraternities and each other. If someone has a great program that works, we should share it and use it at UT.
The second issue is sexual assault. We are going to continue to partner with “not on my campus” to ensure there is proper sexual assault awareness education for every member. All brothers need to understand there is zero tolerance for sexual assault in our community.
Lastly, and the biggest elephant in the room is hazing. We need to remember to operate our chapters in a way that always respects individual tradition, but is safe and responsible. Addressing these challenges together allow us to move forward and not only ensure the longevity of Greek Life, but keep ultimate integrality of fraternal life at UT
Ultimately, I have spent the past three years of my college career learning the ropes at my local chapter, on the national board of my fraternity and on IFC Exec, in preparation to take on this responsibility. I have had a part in every aspect of the Interfraternity council, and I know how everything runs like the back of my hand. We all know that things will happen unexpectedly, and I know I will be ready to respond in a manner that is timely, measured, and effective. Most importantly, IFC is an extension of the body, and as your 2019 Interfraternity Council President I will always act in a way that is transparent, respectful and taking into account the democratic opinion of the chapters.
Class of 2020