The Boulder #8: The Seating Chart

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Last week, I was elected president of my chapter.
I was social chair for the last year.
After holding the position, I now feel ready for the most substantial role of the fraternity.  
I ready myself for the struggles and rewards of being president.
I also ready myself for the change of seating in my chapter room.
Throughout generations of my chapter, the seating chart of our chapter room has rarely, if ever, changed.
There are unofficial guidelines which dictate where each faction of the brothers sit.
As members grow older and adopt leadership positions, their seats usually change as well.
As president, I actually won’t be sitting.
I will stand at the top of chapter, looking at the seats I used to frequent.
Usually people sit beside their friends.
In my chapter, sitting is a little different.
I distinctly remember during every meeting at the beginning of my sophomore year, sitting on the left side of the room, the good friends I had just pledged with on either side of me.
From this position, I usually felt uncomfortable speaking up during meetings, and my contributions to business were minimal.
Even this semester, it’s the brothers just initiated whoseem to inhabit these spots.
Every week, they line up, a row of the new guys.
But sure enough, I feel that they will most likely shift to a different position eventually, just as I did.
With the turn of the exec board imminent, I imagine they will sit – just as I did – across from the president.
It’s from this position that for the past year I’ve felt most capable of speaking my piece during meetings.
As social chair, I felt I could sit there and maintain some aura of leadership and authority.
If you think about it, this spot is extremely conducive for this exact role in the organization.
Aside from the president, who stands at the top of chapter, this spot is the only other position in the entire chapter where everyone is visible.
This is the “new leaders” row.
While they may still be relatively new members, their leadership position raises them above the typical sophomore.
It isn’t as much a position of seniority as it is a signal of coming of age.
Now, I ready myself for the ultimate position.
Being at the top of the chapter room not only allows every member of my chapter to view me.
Now I stand above them, guiding the conversation of the meeting.  
Of course, being at the top of the room also attracts commotion from the seniors in the back of the room.
Seniors are a very interesting faction in any organization, both on the seating chart and in the leadership model.
If seniors have checked out, look for them to chill out in the back of the chapter room cracking jokes without hesitation, ignoring the boiling frustration of the president.
These guys are inevitable and – I’ll admit – I may even be one of them one day (maybe).
But if a senior hasn’t checked out, he will usually sit on the left side of the chapter room, directly across from the “new guys.”
From naïve sophomore on the left side of the room, to social chair directly facing the president, to now president, I feel as if I’ve (almost) come full circle in terms of seating arrangement.
I just haven’t decided where I’ll sit as senior.

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