Nationals Visits Southern Arkansas University

Brian Baudoin

National Advisor

I began my rounds of chapter visits in the pretty but uncomfortably cold state of Connecticut. My second visit would prove to be much more agreeable, climate wise, as this time I headed north of Texas to the rolling mountains of Southern Arkansas. Southern Arkansas University (SAU) is easy on the eyes as it is located in the midst of the beautiful Arkansas countryside. It is one of the most enjoyable drives that I get to make all year long. This was my second time to the town of Magnolia, Arkansas and it was good to be back.  The men at this chapter have always been hospitable and are genuinely a joy to be around.

This is an extremely pivotal semester for SAU as a young chapter. This is one of the first semesters where almost all of the founding fathers and men from the alpha pledge class are no longer in the chapter. This is also a pivotal semester recruiting wise for these men as they’ve had a number of men graduate or go early alum. I was fortunate enough to be able to schedule my visit around the chapter’s rush week, and I am glad that I did. The chapter did a great job seeking out dynamic men to pledge and replenish their ranks this semester; it was a joy to be able to spend some time with them.

Rush at Southern Arkansas was one of the most unique rush weeks that I have been around as a member or an advisor because of the chapter’s participation in IFC rush. The administration at SAU has been intentional in attempting to create a close knit Greek community on campus; because of this effort, they have been very cordial to BYX. For the first time, the chapter was allowed to participate with IFC in rush.

BYX participated in what is called fraternity rotations at SAU. All of the men who were seeking to pledge a fraternity attended a hazing presentation together, and then visited all five of the fraternities that were seeking to bring in new members. All of the fraternities, including BYX, had a room reserved in their campus student union to set up a ten minute presentation. I was impressed with the materials that the men brought to set the room up with. I think that the presentation was set up in a professional manner and many of the potentials were impressed with what they saw.

We gave our ten minute presentation to the potential members and we received high remarks from the men about our presentation. We included our national recruiting brochures and handed them out to every guy that came to our presentation. Following the rotations, the men conducted an open chapter meeting where about nine men showed up. The chapter was business casual, and I appreciated the time and effort that this officer corps has put in to conducting an organized chapter meeting. Ample time was spent with potential pledges and I also got to head to Subway and catch up with former secretary Andrew Story afterwards. Andrew is one of the older members and I always appreciate his insight into different situations with the chapter.

The following morning I met with Matthew Mitchell who oversees Greek Life at Southern Arkansas University. I have a good relationship with Matt and he has a substantial relationship with the men of our chapter at SAU. I am thankful that we have him at this university, as he has done so much for our chapter. Greek life is relatively new at SAU, and he has put in a tremendous amount of work trying to build a true, Greek community at this university. I enjoyed my meeting with him and I know that much fruit will come out of our healthy relationship with the university.

Tuesday night I was able to meet with the officers and review their calendar for the semester. These men have a great desire to impact the campus social atmosphere with BYX. They have been ambitious with their Island Party planning process, and are planning to mix with almost every sorority on campus this semester. They have also invested a lot into their chapter step show coming up this spring and I know that it will be a success. I was able to help them brainstorm about different ways to engage the campus socially and will continue to do so throughout the semester. With Greek Life being as young as it is at SAU, there are abundant opportunities for these men to break out as one of the most social fraternities on campus. I could not be more excited to see how these men engage the campus this semester.

Following the meeting was our second rush event which was a pool party. I will be honest here, I was slightly skeptical when I was first informed about a pool party. If someone invited you to a pool party in January you probably would be as well. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the event was being conducted at a heated indoor pool, and let me tell you, it was awesome. The event went well and all the guys that showed up had a great time. The love that these men share for each other is evident when they get together and I believe that will benefit their chapter for a long time to come.

The men were able to pull in six pledges from the week and I was proud of them. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and I know that this semester will yield much fruit for this chapter. They are still a chapter that is establishing its identity on a campus with a young Greek Life. The opportunity is there at this campus, and there is a quality group of officers in place to capitalize on those opportunities. Please be in prayer for the men of Southern Arkansas as they have big semester ahead of them.

SAU brothers enjoying some fellowship at the pool party rush event

2013 Summit Ski Week- four Southern Arkansas brothers attended

Last spring BYX placed 2nd in the SAU step show competition. The men are already hard at work to bring home the top prize this year.

Our table for the IFC rotations. The men did an excellant job putting together a professional set up and presentation.


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