By Robert Bember
I’ve never gotten along with the state of Oklahoma. When my dad told me as a wee little lad that the only reason Texas didn’t fall into the Gulf of Mexico was because Oklahoma sucks, I believed him.
I found out first hand when I went to the OU-TCU football game in 2008. That was the year the Sooners had an unbelievable team led by Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. They took it to us, and proceeded to lose to the fighting Tim Tebows in the National Championship Game. That left a bad taste in my mouth. To make matters worse, it took two-and-a-half hours to get out of Norman after the game, and we witnessed a guy get hit by a car. Not cool. The only injury I saw this week was a girl falling off her bike while texting. Good idea.
Once we got out of town after the game, we tried to find somewhere to eat, but everything was closed. The Golden Arches turned off while we were on the off ramp. It was a miserable five-hour trip home. Oklahoma became my sworn enemy.
This visit to Oklahoma was far more successful. I had a great time getting to know the men of the Kappa Chapter. I felt like the OU Chapter was probably the closest thing to my home TCU Chapter I’ve encountered so far. You never know what to expect, but you’re guaranteed to get a laugh out of the situation.
We’re getting to the point in the semester where you separate the men from the boys. It’s easy to be excited about being an officer in January and February when you’re just taking over. By now, the officers have been on the job for nearly a year. For President Aaron Bumgarner and Vice President Blake Sellers, it’s been two years. They’re tired. My challenge to all the officers was to finish strong.
I grabbed a bite to eat with the officers Sunday evening before chapter meeting. During dinner, I began to realize why they have had the problem of four-hour officer meetings. They have too much fun together. I don’t mean that in a bad way. They’ve done a great job together, but they remember that they’re brothers first and enjoy being together.
Pledge Trainers Travis Hill and Daniel Chargois had to take off early for pledge meeting. The dynamic duo is still going strong and has vastly improving pledgeship at the OU chapter. On top of weekly meetings, Travis and Daniel instituted pledge missions and spiritual challenges to be carried out during the week. The missions help bond the pledge class together as well as grow them spiritually. They’re making the pledge process fun and challenging. Pledgeship shouldn’t be easy. These guys should be pushed and feel like they’ve earned the right to be a member of Beta Upsilon Chi because it is a privilege. It’s not guaranteed. Both Travis and Daniel were nominated as president for 2011, and Daniel will be taking over. The way Travis put it, they’re pretty much the same person so he conceded to Daniel.
We headed to chapter meeting after I met with Treasurer Cody Quimby, who is apparently a stud basketball player as well as treasurer. The chapter holds meetings in the Santee Lounge, a nice club area in the upper levels of the OU football stadium. It was a cool place that really set the tone for chapter meeting. We spend enough time in lecture halls as students. Utilizing a location like the Santee Lounge is a nice change that gives the meeting more legitimacy.
After chapter meeting, I had the privilege of introducing myself to the 2011 Officer Corps for the Kappa Chapter. I was excited to get to know the future leadership of the chapter, so we set up meeting times for the next day with most of the officers. Coming on staff in July, I had to pick up these chapters and the 2010 officers in the middle of their terms. I had to establish relationships over the phone, and you can only do so much with that. It felt great to sit down, face-to-face, with the future of the chapter and start fresh.
This is the first chapter I’ve been to with the 2011 leadership in place. The energy that these guys are bringing to the table is awesome! It’s infectious. I can’t not be excited to work with these new guys, despite the fact that I love the current group. It’s hard when you’ve worked for four months to build relationships with a group of officers only to watch six out of 7 leave office after a semester and have to start over completely. I’m glad I put those concerns to rest.
It’s not about me or my feelings for these guys. It’s about what they’re going to do for the chapter. The passion they have for Christ and BYX was so evident in every conversation I had with them. I have no doubts whatsoever that they will pick up where the 2010 officers left off and continue making strides as a fraternity.