A Q&A With Our Award-Winning Intern, Trevor Holland
Trevor Holland wears many hats.
He is a student at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. where he studies public relations. He is a chapter services intern at Lambda Chi Alpha’s International Headquarters.
Last year, Holland was president of the university’s Interfraternity Council. He has worked as a peer coach in the university’s Career Center, an orientation leader and a site assistant for the National Student Leadership Conference at Yale University.
Now, he can add award winner to his list of accolades. It’s no surprise he was recently named Ball State’s Greek Leader of the Year.
IHQ: Tell me about the award you won. What exactly is it?
TH: Yeah, so I won Greek Leader of the Year at Ball State. There are three Greek Leaders of the Year each year, and I was one of the three recipients.
IHQ: What does that mean?
TH: To me, Greek Leader of the Year is someone who has made significant impact on the Greek community at Ball State, whether that be through work in their chapter, work on the council or just work throughout the Ball State Greek community.
IHQ: Did you know about this award when you joined Greek Life? Did you ever think you would win it?
TH: I joined Lambda Chi as a sophomore, and the first time I heard about the award I thought, ‘Wow, whoever wins that must be awesome.’ So I never expected to win anything like that. Especially as a new member, you don’t expect to win one of the highest honors.
IHQ: You were up against a lot of other Greek Life members for this award. How many Greek organizations are there at Ball State?
TH: 31 chapters; 13 IFC fraternities; 11 Panhellenic organizations; seven in PHC
IHQ: What did you feel when you found out you won the award?
TH: That’s a hard questions to answer. I was Interfraternity Council President this past year, and it was a tough year for fraternities at Ball State. We were under a lot of scrutiny. We had some bad behavior in some of our chapters, so we had to do a social pause for three months. The 13 chapter presidents came to a decision and had a vote on making this social pause that was necessary for the safety of our community and the longevity of it — to make sure that fraternities are at Ball State for years to come. So we had to have a change in culture. But after that vote happened and that decision was made, I became the face of it. A lot of community members weren’t excited for that. They didn’t want the social pause. They didn’t understand why it was necessary and I was a target, I guess. Everyone was mad at me even though it was a community decision. So it feels good. It feels good to be recognized. I questioned the impact that I made on the community. We all try to be humble, but it does feel good to be recognized because I felt like all of the sacrifices I made and all of the work I had put into the Greek community was worth something.
IHQ: In what ways has Greek Life changed at Ball State from the time you joined to now?
TH: I’ve represented us in a lot of campus offices. I met with the university police department and asked them, “What are ways that UPD and IFC can work together so that we have a stronger relationship?” At the beginning of my term, there wasn’t a relationship. If there was one, it wasn’t positive. So I started inviting them to IFC and having our fraternity men go out to their events, and coordinating tailgates to make sure they’re safer and there’s a point of contact for everyone. I think that made our relationship with UPD a lot more beneficial. With any campus office, if there was a relationship, it was something that I wanted to make sure was positive, and I wanted to make sure we were representing our community like we say we are. In addition, when I took office, it was mandatory for chapters to send members to a lot of different events the council hosted. So I worked really hard to create a system that did not require so many mandatory events. I created a point system, so chapters needed to collect points based on the number of active members they have, and we attached point values to our events. So it was up to chapters to decide if they felt like they needed more guidance in recruitment, or more guidance in membership development, then they could send more people to those events to earn their points that way. That created, I think, a sense of going to something because they actually want to instead of going just because they have to. Last spring, we also hosted a white ribbon campaign, which is the largest men’s movement to end violence against women.
IHQ: Now that you’ve won this award — and obviously you’re very passionate about being in a fraternity and Greek Life in general — what do you think about the future of it? In what ways do you hope you impact the future of Greek Life?
TH: I hope to work for Lambda Chi after I graduate. In 10 years or so, I hope to work as a Director of Greek Life. I plan to get my Master’s Degree and work directly with Greek students.
IHQ: What do you think about how fraternities and Greek Life are portrayed in the media, and why do you think it’s wrong?
TH: Our organizations were founded on values and on brotherhood. But a lot of times in the media we hear about hazing, or we hear about the misuse of alcohol and drugs, or rowdy behavior. But our organizations weren’t founded on hazing. Our organizations weren’t founded on alcohol, drugs or rowdy behavior. So I think if we can get back to the basics of what fraternity was founded on and what our organizations’ founders wanted for us, then fraternity will last forever. If you look at the philanthropy and the community service and what a fraternity’s impact is on a campuses and campus communities, and the towns and cities that colleges are in, it’s unmatched. Chapters raise thousands of dollars for nonprofits and spend hours doing service in their communities. Those are the things that make fraternities so special, along with the bonds that you build with your brothers.
IHQ: What does being a Lambda Chi mean to you?
TH: I am really proud to be Greek, but I am especially proud to be a Lambda Chi. I joined Lambda Chi because, on my campus, Lambda Chi was known for leadership. My orientation leader was a Lambda Chi; the student body president was a Lambda Chi; and those were things I wanted to associate myself with. If you look at the history of fraternity, Lambda Chi has been a leader in changing culture. We were the first to create an associate member program; we were the first to create a culture that isn’t surrounded with hazing; and those things make me proud. I know that Lambda Chi is always ready to be a leader which encourages me to step out and be a leader.