Chapter Visit: Round 2 with the UNT Chapter

Blog-Byline-RobertIn the summer of 2012, I had the University of North Texas usurped from my list of chapters I advised. After a year of building relationships, casting vision and challenging the status quo within the Theta Chapter, I felt less than ecstatic about losing them. It was a necessary move due to my new responsibilities within the fraternity. But lo and behold I find myself once again heading northbound on I-35 to visit the Theta Chapter as their advisor this semester.

I started my Monday afternoon by abusing my body at a greasy local pizza joint and swapping testimonies with Treasurer Ryan Gibson. I was encouraged by Ryan’s honesty and transparency, which allowed me to see vividly how the Lord has worked in his life. Through our discussions, Ryan showed great maturity and perspective of how the unity of the chapter and body of Christ on campus can draw others to the Lord.

Next stop was Chick-Fil-A with President Christian Salazar, where I partook in a handful of mints and engaged in some productive conversation. Christian is borderline obsessed with BYX and Chick-Fil-A and has served faithfully in his tenure as president. He has a huge heart for his men and the fraternity across the country.

IMG_2929I met with Chaplain Quentin Babb at a cool local coffee shop after my meeting with Christian. Quentin has big goals for the chapter that go well beyond just his responsibilities as chaplain. It’s cool to see an officer so focused on the chapter as a whole while effectively growing the cell group structure and the brothers personally.

The officers and I descended upon El Guapo’s, which is not named after me surprisingly enough, to grub on Mexican food before chapter meeting. I would pause from shoveling chips and salsa into my mouth long enough to pose questions about how to get the chapter more involved on campus. I wanted the men to think outside the box to find new ways of building relationships with the Greek community.

I challenged them on their mental approach as leaders and officers. I pushed the officers reorient their mindset in an effort to stop looking at why things may not work and instead find ways to make them work. If the men believe they are out before they even step up to the plate, then that is more than likely going to be the actual result. We can all learn from the great philosopher Yogi Berra, who said, “Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.”

IMG_2930We tackled a lot in chapter meeting, including worship in song, encoura-bro, pledge line-up and my chapter address. I challenged the men to be the visual representation of the vision and purpose of the fraternity so that other brothers and potentials catch it.

I arrived Tuesday morning at the UNT Business Leadership Building to find that the credit card machine was down at their Starbucks. I considered curling up in the fetal position and not talking to any officers, but instead Secretary Brandon Bolin escorted me to a coffee shop near campus with fully functioning credit card machines. My job with BYX made me a coffee drinker.

With the sweet, brown nectar of life running through my veins, Brandon and I walked back to the BLB to discuss sports, BYX and BYX intramurals sports, among other pertinent topics. Brandon is running for president and has high aspirations and a sound vision for the chapter.

Vice President Matt Hard took me to a local sandwich shop for a quick bite as we talked about the chapter’s social and campus presence. This year, the Theta Chapter has upped their budget for Homecoming and have a great plan in place for their Despicable Me-themed float.

Before heading back to Cowtown, Pledge Captain Enrique Callejas met up with me at the BLB. Once upon a time, Enrique did mixed martial arts, so I tend to just agree with everything he says. Fortunately he has his head screwed on straight. Enrique and the pledge team have assembled the largest pledge class in the history of the Theta Chapter, and the pledges have shown great fervor throughout the semester. He is another great candidate running for president this semester.

It was a blessing to be back with the Theta Chapter and catch up with many of the men I began building relationships with in my first go-round serving the chapter. I am excited to keep investing in these brothers and seeing where we go from here.

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