My deep affection for the game of baseball began as a five-year-old. I remember stepping onto the field for the first time. The smell of the grass, the feel of the dirt, the ping of the bat. Something within me flipped to “on” when I stepped between those lines.
As a youngster, I also began to learn the history of the game. I would look at all kinds of statistics that made baseball such a unique sport. The earned run average of the pitchers, the batting averages of the hitters and the number of steals for the runners. I stepped into something that was much, much bigger than myself and had a history found in the numbers.
That is significant. I didn’t make up the rules of the game of baseball or decide which stats should be kept and for how long. I stepped onto the field that was already established.
In many ways, the playing field strategy of baseball is a lot like our role here at Nationals. Our role and priorities as “Nationals” in BYX has several facets. The first is to maintain the integrity and vision of BYX. The “playing field” for BYX is found within our history and preserved in our Constitution. It is our responsibility to set and maintain the framework in which our local chapters operate.
Within that framework is a whole lot of flexibility for BYX to operate uniquely on each campus, but the framework is built on Christ. Everything that we do is to honor Him and fulfill our purpose of establishing brotherhood and unity among college men based on the common bond of Jesus Christ.
The second priority is to help our existing chapters grow in their vision. The average BYX chapter over the last 30 years has started with about 18 founding fathers. Our average BYX chapter is about 78 members currently. Our priority is to make sure that each of our existing chapters is growing and thriving in the vision of BYX on their campus.
Each chapter has unique needs. Some chapters experience deep brotherhood, some are excellent in their social campus presence, some chapters are excellent in their service to the campus and community. It is our role to bring the national perspective, looking from a high level to evaluate each local chapter. We encourage them in the areas in which they excel and push them in the areas that they need to improve.
Most fraternities have one national advisor for every 60 chapters. We have one advisor per every 8 chapters. Our desire is to have ever-improving relationships with our local chapter officers and assist them in their duties in BYX so that the chapter may continue to grow in excellence.
The third priority is to grow BYX to new university campuses. In the early years, BYX grew extremely slowly. It was primarily by word of mouth that BYX made its way to our Beta Chapter at TCU. The growth trickled around the state of Texas for the first 15 years.
Sometime in the early 2000’s, BYX reached a real critical mass in which there were many young men experiencing brotherhood and unity in Christ and the pace of expansion began to pick up. From 2000 to 2015, BYX grew by 26 chapters.
The last few years have seen an even greater uptick, now adding four chapters a year compared to roughly two a year previously. It is a priority to identify high-caliber Christian college men who see the need for the vision of BYX. We challenge those men through our new chapter phasing process as they move toward their initiation.
The final priority for BYX nationally is to foster alumni relations. In 1988, the BYX alumni association was formed for the purpose of “keeping BYX on the tracks” by Alpha Chapter Founder and Board Chairman Wendel Weaver. The alumni association grew into our current leadership model over the next 12 years, with a Board of Directors and National Staff now serving the purpose of “keeping BYX on the tracks.
Alumni relations up to this point has consisted of establishing basic methods of communication with our alumni in order for them to stay informed with current happenings in BYX. We have grown in this endeavor tremendously with our online and social media presence over the last decade.
However, improving alumni relations may take more time and effort than any other area of focus right now. We have a vision for the next steps in alumni relations and are just beginning to work with a number of prominent alumni from various chapters to make that vision a reality. If we are successful, BYX could very well be entering another phase of tremendous growth opportunity.
These are exciting times to be involved as a member or alumni of Beta Upsilon Chi. The Lord has always sustained us, always provided for us and always gone before us. We pray that He will continue to use BYX to impact young men on a college campus. We believe what happens within the walls of BYX can and does change lives that will change the world. We believe BYX is the best college fraternity experience available to Christian men.