By Brian Baudoin
After a period of unpleasantly windy weather in Fort Worth, I found myself in sunny San Marcos, Texas this week. This was my second time to visit the men of the Texas State Chapter, and I was excited to be back now that I have had more time to get an understanding and feel for the chapter. It certainly did not hurt that I knew exactly where I wanted to eat this time either.
My visit began with some intramural softball action. The game gave me a chance to re-connect with some old officers while meeting the new members of the chapter. BYX and Phi Lamb had paired up for the game and were taking on SAE and ADPi. It was certainly an exciting game, which we squeaked out in the last inning. We prayed with the other team and finished our night at Zuka’s, a local burrito favorite. While it is hard to unseat Chipotle in my mind as God’s burrito-sized gift to mankind, this place proved to be a formidable competitor.
Tuesday morning I began my officers meetings. I was impressed with the honesty of the officer corps in these meetings. The men were transparent about their personal struggles as well as the struggles of the officer corps. Whenever the men highlighted what they were excited about in terms of the officer corps vision, it would also be echoed by another officer in a separate one-on-one. This officer corps is very young, but they are coachable and were welcoming to advice and counsel.
One of the absolute highlights of the trip was my lunch meeting with Dr. Gregory Marshall (affectionately known by the chapter as Doc G). Doc G is this chapter’s faculty advisor. He has been an integral part of this chapter since its founding. We were able to discuss our hopes and concerns about the chapter, and I was able to gain valuable wisdom by listening to his perspective on the men. The men all speak very highly of him, and it is easy to see why.
For my time with the officer corps as a whole, we ate at Gil’s Broiler in San Marcos. The dinner was certainly productive in terms of officer corps unity. As I said earlier, this is a young officer corps, and they are still learning how to work as one group. The heart of this group is in the right place, and I know that they are destined to do big things on this campus.
Our time was celebrated over San Marcos’ famous Manske Roles. First of all, Gil’s hamburgers are some of the best that I have ever had, so these rolls were icing on the cake. It was a large cinnamon roll drenched with more cinnamon and sugar than should probably be legal, topped with a melted Hershey’s chocolate bar, and finished off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I deemed it worthy of a spot in my phone’s picture gallery.
From dinner I headed to pledge meeting. I will say that Texas State does one of the best jobs that I have seen of making their pledges think critically through each of their challenges and the purpose behind everything that they do in pledgeship. Texas State is one of a few chapters that have both a Pledge Captain and a Pledge Trainer (Patrick Guerra and Matt Janney respectively). They have different personalities and complement each other well.
Pledge meeting even included an ill-fated attempt by me to steal the pledge rock. The tradition is that the pledges have to take the rock around with them everywhere that they go. One of the pledges was carelessly not guarding the rock during pledge meeting so I took it as a teaching opportunity. I felt proud of my first rock steal until I was told that the rock cannot be stolen during meetings. After I humbly had to give the rock back to the pledge class, I learned that I would have to bide my time for another opportunity that never came.
I finished my trip Wednesday with my last round of officer one-on-ones. I also had the treat of lunch with some former presidents with Joseph Hay and Richard Sanders (known by the men as Woogie). Once again I was drawn to the incredible burgers of Gil’s Broilers and the heart attack-inducing Manske Rolls. I always enjoy getting the perspective of the former officers on the chapter and having two former presidents in the same lunch was certainly a treat.
I left my visit hopeful about what this officer corps can accomplish on Texas State’s campus. It was apparent during my time on campus that BYX has achieved great visibility in the student population and in Greek Life. They are also larger in chapter size then they have been in a very long time. There are many things being done well in this chapter. The challenge now is for this chapter to take the leap towards doing everything with excellence. I have a feeling that it will be sooner rather than later before this chapter completely explodes at this school in a good way.