Michael Rodriguez
2022 IFC President Michael Rodriguez in front of the entrance to IFC’s 150th Celebration, an event which hosted over 200 alumni, active members, friends of IFC and university administrators. 

As my year serving as Interfraternity Council (IFC) President sits in the rearview, I wanted to share the victories and successes of our community over the past year. Maybe your familiarity with the Greek system is one of a current member, or you have had family or friends involved, or maybe you have no familiarity besides what is shared in the media or movies – there is much to celebrate. 

Recently, the University of Tennessee’s Interfraternity Council was awarded five out of the six national awards by the North American Interfraternity Council, the governing body of every collegiate IFC. Among the awards are: Outstanding IFC, Outstanding IFC President, Outstanding IFC Advisor, Outstanding Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Outstanding Peer Governance. This is huge news! Our last major award was given in 1964, when the University of Tennessee won Outstanding IFC. 

The Interfraternity Council, its more than 2,300 members and its 19, soon to be 20, active chapters have never been stronger. While it sounds like a lofty statement, I can say it with the utmost confidence as I reflect on our immense growth, strength and wins of the last year.

Here are just a few highlights from this past year that helped earn us our accolades:

● Reimagined our council’s main values: Growth Through Leadership, Brotherhood & Community, Service to Self & Others and Self Governance & Accountability.

● Planned and managed back-to-back record-breaking recruitment cycles, introducing over 1,400 new members into our community.

● Reviewed and approved more than 1,200 chapter events between the spring and fall semester, which helped ensure that each chapter had a plan in place for health, safety and event management.

● Hosted collaborative and informative educational seminars to further promote fraternal values to our community. These include “Healthy Relationships” featuring Lori Hart for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Men’s Mental Health Conversation with Associated Dean of Students Joe Pierce for Mental Health Awareness Week, IFC 101 for all new members to dive into what it truly means to be a brother with Gentry McCreary and Level One SafeZone Training with Bias Education Coordinator Ciara Gazaway, reaching 100% chapter representation.

● Furthered our stake into DEI work by establishing a Recruitment Equity Task Force to help us identify ways to make IFC’s formal recruitment process more accessible and equitable, along with fulfilling the entirety of our DEI Commitment Plan.

● Focused our philanthropic efforts as a council on a handful of local organizations, including the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission, the East Tennessee’s Sexual Assault Awareness Center, the Wesley House, the Fish Pantry and Smokey’s Closet.

While these successes are just a few, there are hundreds that have taken place within each of our chapters that are just as notable, and for that alone you should find immense pride. What I am most proud of, however, was the sense of community and trust built among our chapter presidents, many of whom I now consider to be great friends of mine. 

In this same spirit, I urge everyone to find ways to build connections and friendships across chapters, councils and organizations. Let’s think past what it means to be Greek and non-Greek as root ourselves in the common bond of being Volunteers.


Go Vols,

Michael Rodriguez

IFC President 2022


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