Nationals Visits Oklahoma State University

By Brian Baudoin
National Advisor

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 Last week, I was privileged to make my trip out to Stillwater, Oklahoma with President & COO Jason Hoyt. Jason had not been to Oklahoma State’s campus in a few years, so it was great for him to come back and reconnect with this chapter. This is a fun group of men to be around and without a doubt a visit that I was looking forward to making. Jason enjoyed his time with the men as well, and we ended up having a fruitful trip.

After what might have been the quickest change into formal attire in BYX chapter visit history, we met President Brad Robinson for dinner at Eskimo Joe’s, a local favorite. Brad is a sophomore this year and has been effective so far in his leadership of the chapter. He has a bright future, and I am excited to see how the Lord uses this experience in his life.

Following dinner, Jason and I attended the weekly pledge meeting led by Pledge Captain Garrison Bare and his pledge team. It was certainly a treat to watch the seven pledges that were recruited this semester interact with each other. They clearly have a love for their pledge brothers and were excited about literally every pledge task that Garrison put in front of them. The enthusiasm from this pledge class was infectious. I hope that the officer corps continues to cultivate that in these men and that it translates to their time as actives once they become initiated members.

Pledgeship has been evolving every semester for a while at Oklahoma State. Each officer corps and pledge captain has done a good job adding new elements and missions to the program. One thing that I was very excited about was that the officer corps implemented a big brother ceremony this year. The ceremony that was instilled was well received by the chapter and should become a staple in this chapter’s semester schedule.

After a quick snack with the pledges, we headed back to the FAPC for chapter meeting. I was pleased to see that this officer corps has continued bringing their charter to chapter meetings. It is a high honor for a chapter to attain, and it is good that this chapter takes such pride in it.

Jason spoke at chapter meeting and was able to deliver a message about the role of Nationals in a clear way. Many of the younger members, who had not had much experience with Nationals, left with a much clearer picture of who we are and what we do. The men had great questions for Jason and got a lot of time to interact with him.

Chapter meeting was enjoyable with exception of one chapter challenge that Jason did not participate in. Three “lucky” brothers and I put pantyhose on our head and had to eat a banana through the pantyhose. Let me say, it was quite difficult and Jason was sufficiently grossed out. In a way, it was a blast to be goofy with the men and the chapter enjoyed it a lot, although nothing really tasted right until the next morning.

Monday was devoted to meeting with the officers and any active members that requested it. The officers were troopers as they had to meet with both myself and Jason separately. It was an interesting day of meetings for sure. This officer group features three former officers and three new officers, but the three officers who served last semester were all appointed for the fall. This is the first time that they are holding a role that they were trained for at National Officer Training. They are now better equipped and confident in their roles, which should pay big dividends for the chapter. The healthy mix of experience and youth in this officer team should make them effective.

We attended dinner with the officer corps at a new place in Stillwater called Brooklyn’s. It’s a new place with an odd amount of pictures that make it look like it’s from the 40’s. In addition to some fellowship time with the officer corps we also reviewed the first edition of the chapter by-laws with the men. While the chapter has had by-laws before, this officer corps is making an effort to formalize them into written form. We enjoyed talking through it with them and believe that it is a great step in developing the professionalism of this officer corps.

After dinner Brad and Chaplain Kameron Morris chauffeured us to a soda shop called Pops, which boasts over 650 flavors of soda. If you are ever driving on route 66 and pass by it, you should most definitely stop and take a look inside. It will be well worth it. After stocking up on various interesting soda flavors to bring back to the staff, we headed back to the hotel for the night.

The last activity for our visit was deemed “The Breakfast of Champions.” This was a breakfast at IHOP for the pledges and any actives that wanted to attend. It was one of the liveliest discussions I have ever had at 7 in the morning. The pledges were a joy to be around, and I was pleased that some older active members also came out to hang out with the pledges as well.

I have become increasingly excited for the future of the Oklahoma State Chapter. These officers have made it an intentional focus to build up the brotherhood and unity within the chapter, which is important for a chapter growing in size like they are. This new focus on concrete brotherhood should result in more member involvement, in turn making both BYX and Christ become famous on this campus.

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