Entering the running two days before the election, Mitchell Kelley is set to help head off the greek community as the new president of the University of Minnesota’s Interfraternity Council.
Kelley, a mechanical engineering junior, was elected to lead the body that oversees a majority of the fraternities on campus earlier this month and said he plans to continue his predecessor’s work.
Kelley is the current president of Delta Upsilon, a fraternity he joined during his freshman year. While president, he eliminated the chapter’s debt and focused on efficiency.
He didn’t originally plan to run for president. He was talking with several other chapter presidents about issues in the greek community when one suggested he run for president himself.
JD Braun, the previous president of the IFC, said he hopes Kelley will continue some of the practices he put in place, like emphases on mental health and sexual assault.
“I’m really excited for Mitch to take over. He’s definitely going to do great work,” Braun said.
During his term, Braun established a mental health taskf orce for greek life members and expanded cooperation with the greek life sexual assault awareness task force.
“When you have these young programs, you need to make sure they have the resources they need to take their programming to the next level and have a positive effect on the community,” Kelley said.
While Kelley is looking to improve upon Braun’s previous efforts, he said he doesn’t have any new initiatives of his own currently planned.
“If you try and reinvent the wheel every single new term, you don’t get anywhere,” Kelley said.
Last year, Braun worked with the other greek councils on campus on unifying to work collectively on issues in the greek community.
Like Braun, Kelley is also looking to increase cooperation between the greek councils that oversee other fraternities and sororities. Kelley said greek council leaders should be able to call each other at any time to discuss key issues on campus such as sexual assault.
“These are problems that are plaguing universities across the United States. These are hot topics that I really think we can solve right here in Minnesota,” Kelley said.
Other fraternity leaders are hopeful about Kelley’s term.
Benjamin Schuneman, president of Phi Kappa Sigma, said he voted for Kelley because he wants to bring together the multiple councils of greek life and because he thinks Kelley can help smaller fraternities increase their presence.
“It was great to see Mitch get elected,” Schuneman said.
Prior to Braun’s term as president, some fraternities had negative views of the IFC and found it difficult to work with, Schuneman said. In the past, he said, IFC seemed to him like an organization that only served to police greek chapters.
Kelley said he wants to increase advertising for fraternity events to the rest of the campus because many students aren’t aware of them.
He said he intends to continue the greater cooperation between greek councils that Braun started during his term.
“I want to make this a unified campus,” he said. “I want to make the greek community involved in the same conversations the rest of the student body is having.”