The Daily Gamecock

Bryson elected as first black Fraternity Council president

Tim Bryson, a second-year athletic training student, lives by Gandhi’s saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Some people made a big deal of him becoming the first black president in USC’s Fraternity Council’s history Monday, but he didn't.

Bryson said when he was elected president, people were saying, "You’re the first this, you’re the first that."

"It’s a historic accomplishment," Bryson said, "but I’m just ready to get to work.”

Fraternity Council is composed of 20 fraternities on campus, each of which belong to either the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Multicultural Greek Board (MGB) or the Interfraternity Council (IFC). Until Monday, Fraternity Council's president had always been a member of a fraternity belonging to the Interfraternity Council.

The Interfraternity Council makes up the majority of the fraternities on campus.

"[The presidency] has always been seen as an IFC position," Bryson said. "I think we have to get away from Fraternity Council president being synonymous with IFC president and really electing the best leader and man for the job to lead Fraternity Council as a whole to new heights.” 

Every November, all fraternities on campus send their president and a delegate to a meeting to vote for Fraternity Council executive board members. The candidates present their speeches then leave the room to allow the delegates to deliberate and vote for each position.

Bryson said that being involved in his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, has helped him discover his talent for leadership as well as his passion for student affairs. Bryson has served as president and vice president of his chapter, as well as vice president of USC’s National Pan-Hellenic Council.

With his qualifications and his passion for leadership, his mentors especially urged him to run for president. In the end, Bryson was glad he did.

“It’s really a culmination of all the preparation and effort I’ve put forth in my fraternity and the council so far,” he said.

Bryson’s vision for Fraternity Council is to become more involved at USC and in the greater Columbia area. He wants to use everyone’s strengths to help make Greek life at USC the best it can be. And as a personal goal, he wants to “showcase the values of brotherhood, scholarship and service.”

“I’m just carving a path for those behind me to follow and walk in," Bryson said. "I made history, but I could easily be the first and the last NPHC or MGB president. That’s what I’m not going to let happen. I am opening the door for another member of the NPHC or MGB organizations to feel confident and be really strong in the decision to run for an exec board position on Fraternity Council.”