Riley Rader: Social Chair and Natural Leader
Missouri - Gamma Rho
By Henry Politz Apr 19, 2021
The current social chair of ATO, Riley Rader, grew up in Kansas City, MO and attended Rockhurst High School. Rader very much enjoyed his experience at Rockhurst because he relates it to the great experience that he currently has in a college fraternity: “One of the bigger pictures was brotherhood, just like a fraternity has. People always have your back and stuff like that. It was one of those things that I knew when I got to college I didn’t want to lose that brotherhood aspect.” In his high school days, Rader was a baseball player. His position on the diamond was catcher, which is one of the most important positions on a baseball field. The catcher of a baseball team is one of the primary leaders on the field, so Riley learned at a young age how to lead a team by using his voice and leading by example. Rader believes that these leadership skills he acquired through baseball have translated to his position of social chair in college, as he explained, “One of my favorite parts about playing baseball, and in particular catcher, is that you get to be a part of every pitch, every play. Anytime something happened, the chances of you being involved are pretty close to 100%. That’s what I wanted to translate into being in college. It taught me some leadership skills”. When it was time to apply to colleges, Riley had three colleges on his radar: Mizzou, Kansas University, and Kansas State. When deciding where he wanted to go, he realized that he wanted a bit of a fresh start. He mentioned that Kansas University is referred to as “13th grade” given the large amount of people from his hometown that go to college there, and Rader mentioned that Kansas State is pretty much the same way. While he still enjoys hanging out with his hometown friends in KC, Rader wanted to broaden his horizons and meet some new people, which is why Mizzou became his No. 1 college choice. Throughout the application process, Rader had Mizzou as his primary focus, and he was ecstatic once he got accepted into the university: “Once I got accepted, I was 100% on board. I was ready to go”. Rader arrived on Mizzou’s campus in the fall of 2019, and he already had his sights set on ATO. Riley visited the ATO house and did a few rush events prior to the fall semester, so he already knew that ATO was the place he wanted to be. Upon joining ATO, Rader was very happy, especially considering that he had officially gotten the fresh start that he had been seeking: “Out of my five other roommates (this year), I knew none of them in high school. And out of my pledge class, I probably only knew six guys from high school. I like meeting a bunch of new people.” During pledgeship, Rader had discovered that being a social chair is something that he wanted to do: “During pledgeship, we looked up to all the older guys. Will Finke was the social chair and I remember sitting at chapter and he would be announcing what that month’s social was going to be. I took a lot of interest in the planning that went behind that and I knew that was something that I wanted to do”. Rader was elected as social chair later that semester, and he will be serving as social chair until the officer elections of 2021 since social chairs serve a two-year term. Riley is majoring in political science with an emphasis on pre-law, and he hopes to attend law school in a few years and ultimately become a lawyer one day. For now, Rader will continue his excellent work as the social chair of ATO. When asked why he enjoys being the social chair so much, Riley summarized it very simply: “I like having a good time and I like for other people to have a good time, but I also like the responsibility behind that good time”.