By Nick England
I recently visited Clemson University along with our new Chief Development Officer, Brian Lee. I was headed out there for my semester visit, and Brian went out there to get a peek at one of our thriving new chapters. While chapter meeting is typically on Sundays at 6 p.m., they postponed it to allow Brian and I to watch the Miami vs. Clemson basketball game. While at the time, Miami was ranked number three and Clemson was unranked, Clemson stayed ahead most of the game which made for an exciting experience. Then at the end, they somehow managed to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory as Miami’s unguarded center drained a shot from three-point land. However, the Clemson guys gave us great seats and we had a blast getting to watch the game.
After the game we went to chapter meeting, where Brian and I had the opportunity to speak. Brian introduced himself and talked about what the vision is for expansion in BYX. Clemson provides a unique opportunity to expand to universities like South Carolina and others in the ACC.
Following Brian’s talk, I got to exhort the chapter in the gospel. I discussed with the men what it looks like to walk through true accountability and address apathy in their brothers’ heart. Then later in chapter, Clemson’s chaplain had set up a time to pair brothers up randomly and allow them to spend ten minutes catching up and diving into each other’s lives. It was well received and following this time the men were encouraged to meet up at some point during the week with that particular brother.
After chapter, Brian and I went to Cookout with a few of the brothers. Cookout is a place where food is served, but I wouldn’t call it a restaurant. The term simply wouldn’t do it justice. Cookout is much more magical than that. I have never seen such a wide variety of food that cost so little. Cookout is not a restaurant. No, Cookout is a haven for all college students. It is a metaphorical DMZ where students can take a break from studying, group projects, video games and parties and just sit back and smell the french fries.
For $2.50, you can get just about any topping you can think of in a milkshake. And the best news is, there is no limit to how many toppings you can get. So next time your girlfriend wants to spend $7.50 indulging in “fat free” frozen yogurt, stop and think. The men at Clemson put a stop to such travesties. So while you stand there and weep as your girlfriend loads up on cheesecake balls, dreading how much this will cost you, just remember…you’re safe at Cookout gentlemen.
The next day, Brian and I met with all of the officers and a few other men. We had a productive day getting to know their officers better. Brian got a chance to better understand some of the attributes to Clemson’s success as a new chapter.
One contributing factor to Clemson’s success has been the support of the university. Everyone we met in administration has been integral in helping BYX succeed. As of the fall, we will have our own Greek residence along with every other fraternity. This housing will help to add more legitimacy and integration into the Greek system. At Clemson, fraternities and sororities occupy a floor in the Greek quad. With BYX taking residence in the fall, we will have a great opportunity to be immersed in the campus culture.
After our meetings were over, we went to Mac’s Diner with the officers. Brian and I had a great time fellowshipping with them. The officers at Clemson are doing a great job pouring into their men and growing the chapter in every way. I’m excited about the direction these men are headed.