It is Friday night of National Officer Training. Every elected leader in BYX is seated in an auditorium at Camp Copass in Denton, Texas. There are over 200 officers representing 34 chapters and each of them is waiting for the conference to begin.
The lights go down, the music starts and out come two of our ridiculous staff members to the tune of “Turn Down For What?” After some terrible break dancing and a never before seen handstand twerk, the annual chapter introductions begin. But something is different this year.
After announcing our 28 active chapters as of December 2013, I began to announce this year’s new chapters, four total. This officer training is the first for our leaders at the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Any other year, two new chapters would be reason enough to celebrate, but this year is different.
The next chapter to introduce was our one-week old Alpha Nu Chapter at The College of Charleston in South Carolina. Next up was our chapter from Louisiana Tech, which will be initiated in mid-December. These two schools rounded out our total of four new chapters in 2014. Surely having four new chapters to celebrate at officer training is reason enough to celebrate, and any other year, we certainly would have been thrilled with four new chapter starts. But again, this year is different.
There was another prospective chapter that needed an introduction. Time ran out to initiate our founding fathers at Miami University (Ohio) this year, so we had to slide them back to January, but they will join the ranks of Louisiana Tech and C of C in rolling out their first rush next semester. They were ready to be welcomed by the leaders of all the other chapters throughout the country.
Our boys at Miami officially serve as the caboose of our unprecedented growth of 5 new chapters within a period of one year. These five new chapters produced 30 more officers than we had a year ago. And that’s not counting the two guys from Michigan State who paid their own way to fly to Dallas to join us to fully catch the vision!
This year has been different. Never before have we seen this kind of growth in BYX. The demand to start new chapters is at an all-time high. In addition to the four new chapters this past year, there is a strong possibility that our prospective founding fathers at Michigan State and Kansas State will follow Miami (Ohio) and be ready for initiation this spring.
We also have leads that I am continuing to talk with at Iowa, Iowa State, South Carolina, Minnesota, Penn State and Memphis. In addition to these current leads, I received a slew of new leads from our officers a week ago.
This year has been different. In some respects, we have more new leads than we can handle. And we thank God for that because we want as many men as possible to experience the live-changing brotherhood and unity of Beta Upsilon Chi.
It is amazing to see what God has done with the vision of a handful of men at the University of Texas in 1985. In less than 30 years, He has grown their vision into an army of 2300 men on 34 college campuses. As incredible as that is, we have reason to believe those numbers can double in the next 10 years.
This year certainly has been different. We hope this year’s growth is a sign of what is ahead for us as we continue to be faithful with what God has given us. If we continue to expand at this pace it will require a collective effort from staff, members, alumni and parents.
What we do know is that with each knew chapter, the Kingdom of God is advancing. BYX will be able to fill a void that previously existed on each campus, and that by God’s grace, men will be transformed by the Christ-centered community they find in the brotherhood that is BYX.
This is worth us working and fighting for, and the ripple effects from each new chapter will be impossible to measure as BYX continues to change men who will go on to change the world.