I’ve heard great things about Island Party at Baylor University, so it would only be fitting to schedule my chapter visit so I could see it for myself. But first, there was business to attend to. I arrived Thursday evening just in time to make it to formal chapter meeting. I appreciated that it was formal, as I have little reason to wear bowties since graduating college otherwise.
The men communed with each other and with me, then I got to sit in on the pledge interview process. It was great to get to know the brothers and potential pledges personally right off the bat. After chapter, some brothers took me to George’s, a local dinner favorite, and we watched TCU methodically dismantle themselves against Tech.
Friday was a day of meetings and preparation for Island Party. Every meeting encouraged me that, in every aspect, Baylor was on their way up. Their campus presence is improving, sororities are loving mixing with them, the brotherhood is gleaming, planning is a big strength and the spiritual focus of the chapter is sharp.
Friday night was a special night for the five new pledges of the Iota Chapter. They were officially and ceremonially inducted into pledgeship, and I was excited to be a part of that. Afterward, Whataburger (which I’ve still never eaten at, ew) was overrun by Greeks, as bid ceremonies were taking place that night for all of them, as well. After getting to know the pledges and having a good load of laughs with the brothers, I turned in.
Finally, the day had arrived. Island Party 2013. The brothers all arrived at 10 a.m. and worked hard all day to get everything ready. The brothers were holding a free concert for the Baylor campus and Waco community. The opening bands played their sets and the brothers served free Chick-fil-A, which, as we all know, doesn’t have calories because Jesus himself crafts each precious sandwich.
The real highlight of the night came while Seventh Day Slumber was on stage. They played popular worship songs as well as some of their own music, and after finishing their set, the singer shared his testimony and presented the Gospel. He poured out his heart about a past fraught with domestic abuse, drug use and suicidal thoughts.
By the time he had finished declaring the power of Jesus in his life and inviting the crowd to feel that same love, there were 40-50 people approaching the stage to meet with a prayer team BYX had put together. With people either rededicating their lives to Christ or committing for the first time, the scene was heavy. Praise Jesus.
After a brief intermission, Hawk Nelson took the stage and got the party jumping until its close. People lined up for autographs afterward and BYX had to play crowd control. I may or may not have even fan-girled a bit myself and got some ink of my own. Autographs in hand (figuratively, they signed my shirt and a copy of their album), I said my goodbyes and threw Czech Stop in my GPS to grab some delicious kolaches. Then and only then could I head home without being ostracized.