Nationals is a word often thrown around by members of Greek organizations in reference to their national headquarters. They are responsible for managing the rules and restrictions of each group. Often, the word has a distinctly negative connotation when mentioned on a college campus.
Generally, the idea of having Nationals visit is equivalent to the feeling you get when you realize that you have a midterm the next day in a class you may have never taken. It’s a total curveball. The visit comes with the distinct chance that you and the rest of your chapter may be completely unprepared for the impending ridicule that you may be about to face.
But these horrific anxieties tend to not be the goal of the National Consultants who stop by Sunny Salem for a visit. They are, after all, still a member of your group and almost certainly engaged in the same debauchery that you fear will be revealed about your chapter to them.
However, since they were a member of your same organization in college, they remember the pressure they felt when nationals visited them. It’s comparable to when your mother scolds you and later says shamefully; “Oh goodness, I’m becoming my mother!” They want to be the cool mom, not a dictator.
As college students, we often fail to see this side of them though. It is unfair of us to put these negative parameters on their visits before they even step on campus. Not to mention, it gives us all intensely unwarranted anxiety. We forget that although they are occasionally the bearers of bad news and reprimand us, they’re also the ones who make sure that our organization is able to continue to exist.
Having Nationals is actually a great thing. It gives us a place to turn to for questions or concerns. It gives us a reference for role models within our organizations, and it reminds us that we are more than just our small chapter at Roanoke; we are part of something that reaches across state lines that gives us a home at colleges and universities around the country.
A visit from Nationals should not be seen as a dreaded visit by an intruder looking for ways to get you and your friends into trouble. They are often your peers, just out of college working their first real-life job, or they could be alum that cares so much about their organization that they are willing to volunteer their time to travel the country to further the Greek education of their younger sisters or brothers. Who knows, one of us could even be our organization’s newest consultant come May.