There are certain things within our fraternity that can be hard to quantify as successful and heading in the right direction. National unity is one of those items. How does a chapter gauge whether or not they are obtaining national unity when they have limited interaction with other chapters. The only opportunities historically have been through National Officer Training, Summit, or the chapter that sees the benefit of reaching out to another chapter and planning a retreat, joint formal, or a tailgate for their rival football games in the fall.
About a year ago, we decided to try to quantify and define national unity. Our goal for national unity is to raise awareness and appreciation that BYX is bigger than one’s own chapter or self. We set out to put some parameters around that goal and see if we could measure that success. We identified 4 standards in which we are attempting to measure national unity. Here they are:
1) Operating the same in execution, spirit and purpose:
The purpose of BYX is to establish brotherhood and unity among college men based on the common bond of Jesus Christ. The BYX Constitution lays out the framework in which BYX operates. The framework is flexible and adaptable enough to where each campus has the freedom to execute the constitution in similar yet different manners in order to ensure that BYX fulfills its vision on that particular campus. For example, the constitution lays out the vision and purpose of pledgeship, but each officer team has the ability to craft their rush events and pledgeship activities around that purpose as they see fit. Essentially the goal for this first standard is for all of our chapters to fulfill the requirements of the BYX constitution and thus fulfilling our purpose on that particular campus.
2) Responding to Crisis/Celebration with another as if it is their own chapter:
We have seen this play out remarkably more frequent each year. In 2008, we gathered for Summit with about 900 of our brothers from around the country. We were going through a fairly intensive legal challenges with the University of Florida at the time. One of our Executive Board members asked the UF chapter to stand up so that we could pray for them. Without instruction, I watched from the back of the room as 900 brothers converged and placed hands on each other as we prayed. The Lord moved an answered that prayer in His time. It was a remarkable display of national unity. We have seen others through the years as we have had brothers pass away in bicycle accidents, rock climbing accidents, car accidents, etc. Brothers from many chapters have stepped up to care for one another with brotherly love.
3) Initiation, Connection, and Assistance with other chapters:
We have seen growth in this area over the last four years as well. At National Officer Training we collect all officers contact information and distribute it to all the officers so that they know how to get ahold of one another. We have seen many chapters look to do chapter retreats together, plan tailgates at football games, plan formals together. The result has been a great benefit to each chapter as they have learned how to do things better, more efficiently, and learned new ideas from one another.
4) Willingness to respect and value national leadership:
Our role here at nationals is to protect the vision of BYX and its integrity. We set forth the vision of BYX routinely in just about every manner possible. We work hard to teach, train, and equip our local chapter officers to understand and fulfill the vision and their roles as officers. We continually resource them in their roles with ideas, tweaks, and evaluations of their efforts to carry out that vision. We walk them through the hard times and the good times to really ensure that the high’s of BYX are not to high and the low’s are not to low. Chapters officers, members, and pledges come and go each year, but the national leadership is steady communicating the essentials to BYX year after year. We have seen remarkable growth in this area in the last decade and we only expect our relationship with local chapters to continue to strengthen as the years continue.
Those are the four areas in which we are looking to determine whether or not national unity is growing. These may be new concepts for many of our chapters although we believe much of them have been happening organically throughout the years.
Below is a video link to our Youtube channel where you can learn more about national unity.