By Brian Baudoin
I had the privilege of visiting the largest city in Texas this week for my visit to Houston Baptist University. Houston has many things that its residents should be proud of, including some of the best Mexican food that I have had in my entire life. While many Texans have told me multiple times that the Mexican food in Texas is the best that you will find anywhere in the U.S., Houston is what made me a believer in the glory of true Tex-Mex. Houston can also be proud of what God is doing through the men of our chapter at HBU. BYX is doing great things at HBU, and I enjoyed my time seeing it for myself.
My first meeting was with Roquee Forson, who oversees Greek Life at HBU. I do not always have the opportunity to meet with university administrators on my visits so this was a nice treat. We had a great conversation, especially after we discovered that she hails from the same hometown as my dad.
Whenever we travel to universities as advisors, people do not always realize that as much as we are there to advise and mentor, one of our biggest tasks is to learn. We have to learn about the university so that we can figure out how to make BYX operate at its best at that school. My meeting with Roquee gave me tremendous insight into the campus environment that the men of the Epsilon Chapter are working with and allowed me to give them much more detailed advice.
After a few officer meetings I attended chapter meeting with the men. It was a surprise chapter meeting because the actives did not realize that various alumni who had recently graduated had been invited back to chapter that night. It was a special surprise and the chapter greeted the alumni warmly.
During chapter the men had their first repeat winner of the “Cream Soda Award.” This is an award given to an active member each week that has gone above and beyond in serving the chapter. The active is given the award is then expected to chug the soda in front of the chapter. The men have really received this new tradition well, and it was fun to see it in person.
The chapter has also implemented a point system for actives and cell groups that has seen fruit in the chapter as well. Members and cell groups are given points for attending events and organized hangouts outside of the chapter schedule. This has brought cell groups closer together than ever before and really encouraged quality bonding time outside of chapter and scheduled events. It is exciting to see the men seeking to go above and beyond the norm in their brotherhood and unity.
Following chapter I accompanied the actives, pledges, and alumni to Buffalo Wild Wings for some good ol’ fashioned brotherhood time. I was encouraged to see the older members and the alumni mixing well with the younger members and pledges that they did not know as well. It is a great thing when older members of the chapter really step out and take the initiative to meet with the younger members. These men recognize that the young men that have been brought into the chapter this year have enormous leadership potential that needs to be cultivated by the older members.
On Tuesday and Wednesday I did the bulk of my officer meetings. This officer corps is young in the sense that they have six new officers on the corps this year. They have seen tremendous growth as the semester has gone on in terms of learning how to function as a unit leading this fraternity. The men were very honest and very open to teaching and wisdom. While HBU BYX is already well established in terms of internal brotherhood, spirituality and campus presence, I feel that the willingness of this officer corps to learn is what will allow them to take this chapter to heights its never seen before.
God has worked in special ways in this chapter on campus. Be praying for their outreach events this semester as they have big plans to reach this campus. I am confident that these men will continue to work to establish a tradition of excellence in this chapter and that we will see the fruits of that for years to come.