Chapter Visit: Strong leadership keeps OU Chapter booming

Blog Byline OwensI’ve heard it said that the best thing to ever come out of Oklahoma was I-35. Having never visited before, I was skeptical of what I might find. So, I left the Lone Star State, hopped on Interstate 35 and headed directly north for about 200 miles. After being briefly tempted to stop at Winstar on my way and then again to admire the grandeur of the Arbuckle “Mountains,” I arrived in Norman. The officers and I met for dinner at a pasta shop called Victoria’s located just one floor below previous president Zach Van Meter’s bedroom. The officers’ choice of cuisine was on point, and so began a trip a great food and even better fellowship.

That night we met up for an exciting and unique chapter meeting. I was able to witness the transparency and well executed leadership of the officer body as they conducted an effective chair meeting prior to the rest of the members arriving for full meeting. This officer team has shown a desire to remain committed to its members by instituting an open door policy for ideas, concerns, areas of improvement and so on from any member that would like to share. That is what leadership is: being open and accepting of criticism and utilizing the skills and knowledge of others around you for the good of the entire group.

Meeting began with a newlywed game between pairs of brothers from various pledge classes. Brad Keepes and Will Crandall, the two seniors announcing for the game, added to the hilarity as members were asked a number of embarrassing questions about their brothers. However, I have been asked not to budge at all on the details of the game.

Later, I gave my address and attempted, unfortunately to no avail, to be as entertaining as the previous activity. We were then informed of the new initiatives of the Brotherhood Chair Brant Larsen. He brought a ton of passion and plenty of fresh ideas for how to cultivate unity amongst the chapter members. He also recognized a member as the honorary Bra of the Week. Yes, bra. This is a new tradition to acknowledge a member who has shown exceptional support for his brothers in the chapter. Finally, the brothers gathered to share prayer requests and praises led by Chaplain Kevin Choate.

That night I had the distinct privilege of joining President Alec Brunson, VP Layne Ferguson, Treasurer Connor Cox and the rest of the Madi Mansion crew for their weekly house meeting. We talked about life’s ups and downs, our struggles and successes, and I was able to witness the level of vulnerability and accountability that these men share with one another. It was an encouraging and nostalgic experience that brought me back to the days of my cell group.

It wasn’t but a mere 6 hours later that Alec, Lane, Kevin Tanner and I met again at Crossfit for an exhausting yet necessary workout. I would need to replicate that morning’s routine about 3 more times to offset the carb load I ingested during the duration of my visit. After we punished our bodies, I began a day of many one-on-one meetings with each officer, Rush Chair Colson Files and Nationals Chair Bradley Cronk. Each meeting consisted of great conversation, strong passion for each member’s respective position and a unified vision for what they would like to see their fraternity achieve in the coming year.

That afternoon some of the officers and I gathered for yet another filling meal at Bob Stoop’s favorite restaurant, The Grille. This was no ordinary burger joint. We had the pleasure of enjoying some of Oklahoma’s finest bison meat, which we were informed by our waitress is far healthier and leaner for you than any average beef patty.

It was a fantastic meal, and it was made even better due to the entertainment provided by OU BYX’s very own Kevin Choate. He introduced us to the #napfart, which in his case was apparently powerful enough to awaken him from his slumber during his less than interesting class that afternoon. Yes, that actually “chaplained.” The flatulent fiasco caused quite a stir in the lecture hall, and the tweet that captured it all currently has close to 30 favorites on Twitter. There was not a single dull moment with these guys, and I loved every minute of it.

Finally, the last adventure in my saga at OU finished up strong at the weekly officer meeting. And yes, you guessed it. We ate again. Despite the fact that I had stored up a food baby in my stomach that was now developing into a fully grown pre-teen, I couldn’t help myself but to take part in what might be the most heavenly dessert known to man: The Legendary Party Platter at BJ’s. We consumed and conversed over grossly sized portions of ice cream-covered cookies, and it was nothing short of spectacular.

I was thoroughly impressed by the Kappa Chapter. They have an incredible officer team leading the way for their already stellar fraternity. Each member of the officer team brings something unique to the table, and they are doing an excellent job of utilizing those strengths. Alec Brunson is leading these men by example from the middle of the pack. Rather than telling the group where to go or running off ahead without them, he stands with his men and encourages them as they move together as a unit. These officers are well respected by the chapter, and it’s a direct result of the respect and regard they show for their men. I am excited to see how God will continue to move through the hearts of these brothers and throughout the campus of Oklahoma.


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