Students Stepping Up – IA Phi Takes AFLV Central
Executive Director Ian Lowe had a chance to sit down with the University of Iowa Chapter (IA Phi) President Graham Paterson to discuss Graham’s recent participation in a large regional Greek leadership conference. Graham said this was one of the best weekends of his life.
Tell me about this experience.
I attended AFLV Central in Indianapolis, IN between Feb 2-5. Iowa’a IFC Exec Board and the other councils E-Boards were representing us. I got invited because there was a last minute vacancy and I jumped at the opportunity to go. I was the only Chapter President there on behalf of the University of Iowa.
What is AFLV and how does it work?
AFLV is the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values. This was their multiple day conference for the “Central” region. They offer different educational sessions and there were over 2,400 students there!
What were some of the sessions you attended?
The most impactful one was on how to build better campus collaborations with the university administration and the other councils. The session provided me with actionable things I could do. There were great sessions also on being a better Chapter President and regardless of title, how to be the type of person that inspires Brothers to do more.
Did any of the sessions change your way of thinking?
My perspective on Greek unity changed. Being at a conference talking about fraternal values with guys and women from all different organizations from throughout the region was REALLY cool. We all have different letters, taglines, philanthropies, but everyone there wanted the same thing — to thrive, to make our Chapters better than we found them, and to make the greater Greek community better. Meeting like minded guys and women that believe the same things was inspiring and refreshing. If you wiped away the letters and listened to just what they talked about, you’d find there’s really no big difference between all our organizations. I didn’t realize how much we were the same until we actually sat down and talked about these things.
Favorite memory from AFLV?
I had two. One was actually just riding electric scooters around Indy with fellow Iowa delegates on our way to Steak N’ Shake. I also REALLY enjoyed learning more about some of the multicultural and historically black Greek organizations. They performed their various steps and strolls. I hadn’t really ever seen those here at Iowa so seeing them and learning about their significance was really cool. The entire experience made me feel more connected to the overall Greek community.
Would you recommend it to others?
Not only would I recommend it, I’d say you need to go. It will transform you. The sessions are setup in a way that you have to engage, but when you look around, everyone is having fun as well.
Any final thoughts on AFLV?
I was hesitant at first to go. I didn’t know the IFC officers and hadn’t been to a national Greek conference. However, I immediately felt comfortable. The people that go to these conferences really make you feel welcome. Honestly, it was one of the top weekends I’ve experienced in my life. The people, the thought provoking topics, the conversations, it was all just incredible.