Life of a house boy is a balancing act

Well-known as the backbones of chapter dinner, house boys help prepare and serve dinner to sorority women every Wednesday night. Mathew Bille, senior in social work, prepares to serve dishes to Alpha Chi Omega members. (Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

House boys are students well-known in the greek systems as the backbones of sorority chapter dinner every Wednesday night. And with hundreds of women to serve between K-State’s 12 sororities, many male students seek employment as house boys.

Preparing meals for about 150 women per house is a big job, and big jobs like this require help and assistance. House boys are employed part-time and assist a sorority’s cooks with preparing and serving lunch and dinner, as well as cleaning up all of the dishes.

Being a house boy is not your typical college job. Corbin Pfrang, junior in biological systems engineering, said there are unique advantages of being a house boy.

“One of the many perks of being a house boy is the fact that you get free food when you work, along with taking food home if there is any leftover,” Pfrang said. “You are also around girls the whole time you are working, which is nice since I spend much of my time living with guys in my fraternity.”

Like all K-State students that work, a successful house boy has to be able to balance his job and academic responsibilities.

According to Pfrang, the cooks they work under make the balancing act easier.

“They are very understanding and will almost force you to leave work if you have a test coming up,” Pfrang said. “They understand that we are here for school first.”

What makes a good house boy?

June Wilson, house director for Alpha Chi Omega, said an ideal house boy is a young man that can be reliable, work independently and understands the importance of teamwork.

For Janice Tidball, the house director for Alpha Delta Pi, experience in the restaurant business is another great quality for a successful house boy.

Behind all of the hard work, though, there is always fun to be had.

“Being a house boy allows me to escape school mode for a while and enjoy the company of others,” said Korby Anderson, house boy for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and junior in mechanical engineering. “Also, the food is phenomenal.”

In addition to being able to balance their work and school lives, Wilson said the house boys sometimes go on to mean something more to the women.

“We ask the new house boys to sing during chapter dinner,” she said. “More than once we have been surprised with a gentleman who can sing beautifully. We have also had house boys who are now husbands of our women.”

For Pfrang, there are little things every day, like making genuine friendships with the women and the people he works along side, that make going to work worth it.

“As long as you keep a positive mind, and don’t let that one girl that is pretty high maintenance ruin your day, you will have a blast,” he said.